|Basilica of the Annunciation
"Here the Word was made flesh."
From such an insignificant village came - "The Holy Family". The Basilica of the Annunciation is built in two levels, the lower level a very simple representation of the life of the Holy Family, and a highly contrasting upper level with magnificent mosaics donated from many of the worlds developed nations. We also visited the Church of St Joseph and in the streets, observed the noon prayers of the muslims at the controversial site where they want to build a mosque very near the basilica. The dispute about this matter caused the Vatican to shut down all of the cathedrals in Israel for several days just one week before our trip.
Luke 1: 26-38 Gabriel Speaks to Mary
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
The History & Archaeology of the Site
We now believe from excavations that people lived in Nazareth at least 1200 years before Christ. However, people gave the town so little thought, that when Philip was trying to explain to Nathaniel that they had found the one of whom Moses had written, Nathaniel asked sarcastically, "You don't expect that anything worthwhile is going to come from Nazareth?" John 2: 46
Photographs from Nazareth
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