Tuesday 28.1.14 Nazareth
DISCLAIMER: I learned more about Christianity in the duration of our few hour trip than I have in my whole life. Here you will find some of what I saw and learned, albeit presented in a not super serious (and questionably factual) manner.
Anything you see here today is just what might have been. It is not based on fact, rather belief. We cannot say for a fact that this was the exact spot that a so called angel swooped down, maybe because it was many years ago or maybe because it never happened.
Welcome to Nazareth, a city based on tradition.
This is a recreation of the town’s well, where Mary supposedly met Joseph. (Don’t drink the water; no one knows where it comes from nowadays.) Fun fact: Mary’s real name is Miriam. In the olden times, women used to cover themselves with veils in practice of modesty. When Mary first met Joseph, she “accidentally” let her veil slip off to essentially be like “Oh, heyyyyy there, good-looking, you are totally free to address me now.”
Interestingly enough, there were no churches in Nazareth until about 500 years after Jesus’ time. Despite it being the city where he grew up, there is a saying that goes “you can’t be a prophet in your own city.” They wanted to throw him off a cliff! He disappeared while being dragged to his banishment, and that was the last time he was seen in Nazareth.
The word Teacher in the New Testament is translated from Rabbi… Jesus was not only Jewish but a rabbi as well! That’s why there’s a “synagogue church.”
Joseph was a descendant of King David?! And so the angel told Mary: Yo, Mary, you pregoz! Your son’s name will be Jesus and he will be a king just like his ancestor David.
Jesus, aka Savior, is a heavy name to bestow upon a lil baby. So there is a theory he was born with the name Emmanuel, or “with god,” and later took on the name Jesus.
As soon as we rounded the corner, we saw this huge frickin church, to which I appropriately responded, “Holy schnitzel!” It is the Church of the Enunciation, and it is one of the places they claim the announcement that Jesus is going to come happened.
Here is not only a cool angle inside the huge church, but this is the Jerusalem cross. This cross symbolizes Jerusalem as the center of the world, with the four corners of the world around it (that also signify something more Christian). Even though it is a Christian symbol, I love the sentiment that you can just give a little kid a map and ask, “where’s Israel?” The kid does not even have to look, rather just point at the center. Is this why, besides ancestral history, that so many sects of the world gather here and wish to claim this land as their own? Is this why they say that when the Messiah comes we will all journey to Israel, the central meeting point for the human world? Hmmm…This particular Jerusalem cross is the St. Francis version, with the two hands. Notice the robe sleeve hanging down from the left one. St. Francis believed that if Jesus was poor, we too should be poor. So, he only wore robes and went barefoot, with a sole purpose of lending a helping hand to others.
God will come on to you.
P.S. We then debated the reality of immaculate conception.