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Turning the corner, they were met by the large, red-domed Greek Orthodox Church of the Twelve Apostles. The church takes its name from the Gospel account of Jesus choosing the Twelve, an event that took place on a mountain in this area of Galilee. It is also known as the Church of the Seven Apostles — a reference to Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearance by the Sea of Galilee to seven of his disciples — Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, and John “and two other disciples” (John 21).
The courtyard surrounding the church featured lovely, lush gardens, and palms, with a beautiful view beyond of the Sea of Galilee. Walking inside the pilgrims entered a golden heaven. Frescoes and murals decorated the walls of the church from top to bottom. Each wall depicted a particular parable, or miracle of Christ. Bright sunlight poured in through the stained-glass window casting beautiful rays of ethereal light throughout the interior. Gazing upward on one dome was a great icon Christ the Pantocrator and on the other was the Ancient of Days.
Donning his Epitrachelion and Omophorion, Archbishop Daniel placed the Gospel upon the stand before the Altar and read from it. As the group bowed their heads and prayed, others entered and respectfully joined. Having blessed his flock, Archbishop Daniel also bestowed his blessing upon those others who came forward, specially the group of Orthodox Christians from Romania.
As they turned to exit the beautiful church everyone stopped as they were confronted by reality of life… and death. The entire back wall of the church had a mural of the Final Judgment on it. God sat upon His thrown as His creation was judged. Little devils were seen pricking wretched souls, while angels guided the righteous towards their reward. With this blatant reminder that we are all to be judged one day, and that our eternities rest in our own hands as we guide our lives along various paths, the group exited into the bright sunshine of the lush courtyard.