Sing: Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, UMH 509
When we left Capernaum we continued our clock-wise drive around Lake Galilee. We crossed the Jordan River at the top (north) of the lake and then headed down the eastern shore. The shoreline here was still the beautiful green we had seen on the western shore but the hills appeared to rise up more abruptly on this side of the lake. About half the way down the east side we stopped at the Kibbutz Ein-Gev for lunch and then a boat ride on the lake.
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel. The first kibbutzim were agricultura,l but today they encompass other industries (including fishing and dairy farming here), tourist stops and hotels. An individual member of a kibbutz is called a kibbutznik. There are about 250 kibbutzim in Israel and though they began as a blend of socialism and Zionism, most have now been privatized and no longer practice communal living. Ein-Gev was founded in 1937 and has a population of 680 kibbutzniks.
We had a nice family style lunch that included about five different side dishes to go along with the main course we each ordered separately. The most popular choice for most groups (including ours) was fresh fried fish from the lake. Because I like to do new things when I am in new places, I got my fish with its head still attached. And even though we were not sitting by the windows, we still had a nice view of the lake as we ate.
As we talked and ate and took photos, we also noticed that it had started getting more cloudy outside. When we finished our meal and walked down to the harbor we could feel that the wind speed had increased and now Lake Galilee appeared to be quite choppy with a few small white-caps. But the boat ride was a real pleasure. Our crew kept the speed low and the boat cut through the waves quite well – it was a smooth ride and no one got seasick.
When we got out into the middle of the lake we could see the hills rising up both on the east and the west and we could also see the low areas where the Jordan River flows in from the north and out to the south. It was hard to imagine that sea-level was 600 feet above us. We remembered the stories of Jesus calming the storm and walking on the water and we knew that we were in good hands. The three pastors were invited to try a walk on the water ... but we all declined and decided to get back to shore the regular way.