As we moved into the second week of our journey in the Footsteps of Jesus, we began to explore some of the sites where Jesus carried out his mission and trained his disciples to do the same around this beautiful lake we call the Sea of Galilee. Our first stop was the meticulously rebuilt early Byzantine church which is right next door to where we are staying here in Tabgha. This area still today, as in the time of Jesus, is incredibly lush due to the seven springs which water the grass and trees in the area. It is not hard to see why Jesus often brought his disciples to this area for times of abiding and rest after seasons of busy and fruitful ministry. An early tradition places the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand here, marked by an ancient stone and a famous mosaic of the five loaves and two fish. After reflecting on the disciples participation in this amazing miracle we headed up the hill to the traditional location of the Sermon on the Mount and visited the Church of the Beatitudes surrounded by meticulously tended gardens. From there we went to explore the brand-new excavations at Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene along the shore of the lake. The recently discovered first-century synagogue there is the most important biblical archaeological find of this century and was certainly one of the synagogues Jesus preached in. It was amazing to see the intricately carved table there, knowing Jesus would have laid the scroll on it as he unrolled it to read the text he was preaching on! We finished another incredible day with an intimate Communion service at a gorgeous lakeside chapel in Tabgha and a refreshing swim in the lake near our guesthouse...we couldn't be more grateful!