The old joke goes like this: a tourist comes to the Sea of Galilee, and is approached by a man with a boat, who promises to take to the tourist to the place where Jesus walked on the water — for fifty dollars. “Fifty dollars!” exclaims the tourist, “No wonder Jesus walked!”
Our group’s intention was to take a quiet, meditative boat-ride on the Sea where Jesus walked, the Sea on which Jesus taught, the Sea Jesus calmed. Intentions don’t always work out. We weren’t a big enough group to have a boat all to ourselves, we found out.
And so we were joined by a couple dozen Pentecostal Christians from India. The crew raised the Indian flag. A man on a microphone prayed for India. The Indian national anthem was sung. A pastor, also on a microphone preached a sermon. And then they started playing a CD: “Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water.”
Please understand me: none of this was wrong — it just wasn’t quiet. Or meditative. But these enthusiastic Indian Christians had every right to celebrate their time on the Sea as they felt led. There were, if nothing else, more of them. Which may be precisely the point: globally, Christianity is fast becoming like them, and not like me. The Church is becoming less European and more Asian, African and Latin American. It is becoming less quiet, less meditative, and more Pentecostal.
I do not know who all has been reading these posts, but I have very much enjoyed sharing these episodes from this unbelievably wonderful journey I have taken. As I write, I am back in Galilee , and with our group, re-viewing many places where I came two weeks ago to walk. I may have one more post from the airport, but otherwise, this trip is over. Much to my humbled joy, walking in the way of Jesus, however, goes on.