Galilee Dawn

I woke up in Galilee this morning.

I looked out my window and this is what I saw.

The dawn of a new day.

Forty of us are on a pilgrimage through the Holy Land. For Peri and me it is our ninth pilgrimage. For many it is their first. For all of us it is a holy time. We awoke to a new day dawning over the Sea of Galilee.

And Galilee is the place where the new day of the Kingdom of God first began to dawn.

Consider what the Scriptures say…

And leaving Nazareth, Jesus came and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying:

The land of Zebulun and Naphtali
By the way of the sea
Of the Gentiles
The people who sat in darkness
Have seen a great light
Upon those who sat in the shadow of death
Light has dawned.

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: Repent and rethink your life, because THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!

(Matthew 4:13-17)

What is the Kingdom of God?

It is nothing less than the government of God invading the fallen world order and making all things new. The Kingdom of God in its fullness touches and transforms all things: Culture, society, arts, education, economics, government, and not least, the hearts of men. It is the dawn of a new day where the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn growing brighter and brighter until the full day. (Proverbs 4:18)

My vision for the Kingdom of Heaven — the Kingdom of Christ — prevailing in all the world is burning in my heart as I walk, eat and sleep in the place where the astoundingly good news of this wonderful Kingdom was first proclaimed by the King himself.

I am being renewed.

My passion for the King and His Kingdom is burning hotter and brighter.

Praise the holy name of King Jesus.


Today we were walking and worshiping, teaching and learning in Nazareth, Capernaum, Tabgha (where there is the famous fourth century mosaic commemorating the multiplication of the loaves and fishes) and we ended our day watching the sun set over the Sea of Galilee as fisherman headed out for a night of fishing.

Tomorrow we will begin our day with a boat ride on the sea of Galilee, followed by a visit to the site of the Sermon on the Mount. Then we will travel north into the Golan Heights to visit Caesarea Philippi (where Jesus introduced the Church); and possibly we will visit the Dan gate where Abraham first entered the Promised Land. We will end the day with a baptism service at the Jordan river.

I wish you were here.

Maybe next year.




The final place we visited today was Peter’s Primacy — the place where Jesus restored Peter after his denial (see John 21). Chris Greseth is with us and leading worship, but at Peter’s Primacy I did something I very rarely do…I sang a song for people: Dylan’s Every Grain Sand. It’s a beautiful song that is very appropriate to the place of Peter’s restoration. It’s a song for those of us who are no longer as self-confident as we were in the early days of our walk with Jesus. No longer self-confident, because we have come to know ourselves and how human we are and how prone we are to fail, despite our (over)confident assertions that we will faithfully follow Jesus no matter what. But having learned the painful truth about ourselves, we have also come to know how much we are loved by God and how every aspect of our life is an object of His loving concern.

A sparrow, a fly, a poisonous insect is an object of God’s concern. It is not a wasted or lost life. What faith it takes to believe that one’s life is noticed by God and that this is enough!

-Soren Kierkegaard

Every Grain of Sand
Bob Dylan

In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There’s a dyin’ voice within me reaching out somewhere,
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair.

Don’t have the inclination to look back on any mistake,
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break.
In the fury of the moment I can see the Master’s hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer.
The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay.

I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer’s dream, in the chill of a wintry light,
In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space,
In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me.
I am hanging in the balance of a perfect finished plan
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.