It's away from the 'temple'; it's where Gentiles lived; it's where the 'less devout Jews' lived; it's where Jesus called home.
‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.’
As I did some Easter reading this past weekend, the mentions of Galilee in Matthew and Mark's gospels caught my attention.
Why Galilee? I hadn't really thought about it much before. Then it hit me. It's where Jesus did most of His ministry - preaching, teaching, and healing. It was a place looked down upon by the powerful and wealthy of that time. Nobody who was anybody ever saw anything significant about this region. It was just plain, ole common.
A huge lake was associated with Galilee and it was known for its fishing trade. This body of water was also known for massive, turbulent waves when storms arose. And there were several miracles that happened on this lake during substantial storms, ie. Jesus walking on it and helping His disciple Peter step out of a boat to stand on the water as well.
But what might be a relevant understanding of this place for us?
Galilee reveals His heart and purposes. It provides a powerful element for our ideologies to help us see life with a transcendent perspective of hope and love. This region aptly reflects the thoughts expressed in this passage from Psalm 33:
10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
It's promises like this that help our souls be open to learning and taking actions to move forward, especially when we feel powerless, rejected, impoverished, unsupported, marginalized, persecuted, abandoned, forgotten.
Galilee represents the often overlooked place of deep needs. The resurrected Christ meets us there and invites us to make our home there with Him, ie. to find what really matters most. For it is there with Him that we can be vulnerable and unafraid of what others think; unafraid of mistakes and failures; we can be free to love and be loved; we will grow in the mastery of our stories and be empowered to act according to our most positive core values.
Outside of this abode, there are roles we take on in the world to provide services and products. If we become 'Galileans', I believe we will find greater success and fulfillment as transformative, redemptive agents who find the creative, innovative solutions to live lives which prioritize what matters most. This includes the moral choices to prevent harmful corruptive actions which we have seen many times throughout history up to the present.
When we experience this kind of transformation, things take on new meaning and our existence makes real sense. We will find our responses and behaviors much more in line with what helps our souls and relationships thrive.
And this brings me to an underlying purpose to going to Galilee to see Jesus. Not going to church. Not becoming religious. Not any of the stereotypic things associated with following Christ.
Going to Galilee to make our home with the risen Son of God is forsaking all other voices and influences (culture, family of origin, our own reactive perceptions) in order to have true love become our ultimate resolve, the courage to choose life and not death, even when we feel like we have nothing left.
This is the vulnerability that empowers our mindset to have an insatiable desire to learn and a biased determination to act in order to redeem and improve whatever is dealt us, and not just for ourselves but for the blessing and betterment of others.
The place we call home and the spirit of that home is what fosters insatiable hunger for learning and bias towards powerful, positive action. These two things are required for success that is fulfilling and worth celebrating.