Sing: Great Is Thy Faithfulness, UMH 140
From Pastor Mike: Adjacent to the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes, but stretching all the way down to the lakeshore, is the Church of the Primacy of Saint Peter. This site commemorates the stories in John 21.
As we entered the front gate we noticed one the seven springs flowing down toward the shore. The grounds are lovingly maintained and included several outdoor worship areas we passed as we followed the stream to the lake. Close by the lake, and on our left as we descended the valley was the Church building.
The Church and its foundations are built of black basalt rock quarried from an ancient lava flow that once covered this whole area. Inside the Church the altar sits behind a rock which rises up out of the floor. This rock is called “Mensa Christi,” the Table of Christ – it is the rock on which Jesus built his charcoal fire as he waited for his disciples to come ashore.
Back outside we finished our walk down to the lake. The shoreline here is rocky with dark stones; something I did not expect. This is a good fishing area because the fish are attracted to the warmer water coming into the lake from the seven springs. The warm springs of this valley and the ancient lava flow are both connected to the Great Rift Valley which allows us to stand on dry ground 600 feet below sea level. I reached down to scoop a handful of water and cooled my face and forehead. What a privilege it is to come to this place.
As we walked back toward our bus we stopped at one of the outdoor worship sites. This area includes a sculpture of Peter and Jesus called “Feed my Sheep.” I could hear Peter saying, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Do you love Jesus?
I pray that each of us will be able to find the forgiveness which Jesus offered to Peter in this place.