Meet Me in Galilee!

River Congo at Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo


After the crucifixion, when Jesus meets Mary Magdalene and the other Mary in the funeral Garden, he tells them to go and seek the other disciples and tell them that they should return to Galilee, and he would meet them there. The Sea of Galilee is only 76 miles to Jerusalem. Without a train, or cars, seventy-six miles on foot is still quite a distance, but not overwhelming.

My thought is that Jesus wanted to reconvene the disciples in the area where they first met. His ministry began in the Galilee region, and now after his traumatic death on the cross, Jesus wanted to assemble the disciples in the place where they were most comfortable and would not have to worry about retribution and persecution. Jerusalem was a dangerous place. The Jewish leadership had great authority in Jerusalem. The Roman government had a major presence in Jerusalem. The Galilee was a natural place to gather after the crucifixion because it was relatively safe, quiet, and more diverse in its population.

Where is your, “Galilee”? If you wanted to refresh and renew your spirit, where would you go? Would you go to the city of your birth, or a city that provided you with the most comfort and joy? For years, I thought I would like to be buried in New Orleans, my birth city. After Katrina with its storm surge, almost all the persons who meant much to me left the city, and most have died. Katrina impressed upon me that it is not so much the physical space, but the people who make life special. For me, I no longer have a desire to be buried in New Orleans. As a matter of fact, the way I feel now, I am not sure it really matters where I am buried. Currently, I am more focused on living, creating, ministering, and it really does not matter where I live or die.

For me, “Galilee” is where I find peace and comfort. I can find “Galilee” on California route 1, but I also feel it on the Merritt Parkway between New Haven, Connecticut and New York City. “Galilee” for me is the Sea of Galilee, but it is also along the Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi and Louisiana shores. My “Galilee” is near Jackson Hole, Wyoming along the Snake River and the Grand Teton Mountains. “Galilee” for me is the sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park near Glen Arbor, Michigan, but also Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. I have found peace in Mbandaka, alongside of the River Congo, in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Atlantic Ocean along side Freetown, Sierra Leone; Cape Coast in Ghana, but also the Detroit River at Belle Isle.

I have shared with you some of my “Galilee’s.” These are places where I find peace and solace. Where is your “Galilee?”

Matthew 28: 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. After the crucifixion in Jerusalem, why do you think Jesus asked the disciples to meet him in Galilee?
  2. Is there a “Galilee” in your life?

 Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the places where I first met you. Rekindle my faith. Renew my joy. Revive my spirit. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

 Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 28:10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.