That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
1 John‬ ‭1‬:‭1-2‬ NIV

One of my favorite memories of my last trip to Israel is seeing my friend Doug Rollwage exclaim “Right here! Right here!” while practically hopping with excitement. Today was a day filled with “right here” moments as we visited the Mount of the Beatitudes (where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount); sailed on the Sea of Galilee; ascended to the top of Mount Arbel (the view was astounding!); visited Tabgha (where the miracle of the loaves and fishes happened); and walked through Capernaum (Peter’s home town and the place that Jesus used as a home base after leaving Nazareth).

“Right here” moments are a powerful thing. To stand where Jesus stood. To walk where he walked. To gaze out at the shores of Galilee and know that you are seeing the same hills that he saw. This experience is not easily explained and it will never be forgotten.

“Right here” moments are possible because God loves us enough to send Jesus. Jesus loved us enough to step out of Heaven – perfect joy, peace and love – into our messy broken world. Jesus loved us enough to walk down the dusty pathways all along the sea, teaching us how to live as God would have us live. Jesus loved us enough to take our brokenness into himself, to heal it through the power of a sinless life and a sacrificial death.

And because of a that, two thousand years later a group of Canadian pilgrims can stand in awe, whispering “right here, right here” in our hearts.

What joy! What blessing! What a gift from God whose love is abundant and abundantly manifest in Jesus!

Amen and amen.

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Dad reading the Beatitudes on the Mount of the Beatitudes, just as I did on my first visit.

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Kim Shepherd and I enjoying the experience of sailing on the Sea of Galilee.

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Luke enjoying the amazing view from Mount Arbel.

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Regan reading scripture in the synagogue in Capernaum.

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