#sponsored travelOld Jaffa, Caesarea, and Megiddo that day, so we were nearing exhaustion. We made a quick stop at the Basilica of the Annunciation. This Roman Catholic church commemorates Mary's Annunciation here and it's filled with beautiful mosaics that were gifts from around the world. I didn't take photos inside the church, to honor the holiness of the site.
The Book of Luke records the annunciation of Mary, which is in layman's terms is the time the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary to tell her she would be the mother of the Christ child.
Luke 1: 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Just a few yards from the church stands Mary's Well, which we also saw as we drove through Nazareth. There is an underground spring in Nazareth, and many believe this well to the spring is the site of the annunciation. There is also a Greek Orthodox church a little higher on the hill that could have been the site of the annunciation. So, what we're really sure of is, it happened somewhere close to that vicinity in Nazareth.
As darkness began to fall, our group headed out of Nazareth, towards dinner and accommodations near the Sea of Galilee. I'll tell those stories next week!
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