A Byzantine monastery and a time of Thanksgiving

On a recent trip, I visited the ruins of the Byzantine monastery of Kursi, situated east of the Sea of Galilee. The remains of the ancient monastery came to light accidentally, during construction of a new road, and they were excavated in the years 1971-1974. The site is now open to the public as a national park.

The location of Kursi, its architectural features and the testimony of early travelers identify it as the site where, according to tradition, Jesus healed two men possessed by demons. (Matthew 8:28-33) To commemorate the miracle, a monastery was built there. In antiquity, a paved road led from the monastery to a small harbor which served Christian pilgrims arriving in boats.

Our Father in heaven,
You are our strong Deliverer. We thank You for the deliverance of the Gadarene demoniac. We thank You for his witness to Decapolis and to us today.
Excavate the memories of bygone Christian leaders, homesteads, and churches in the United States of America, that we may give thanks for the saints who have gone before us. The words of Holy Scripture they read and the praises they sang are living and active. Your word shall not return to You empty, but it shall accomplish that which You purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which You sent it. Help us to uncover these wells of living words as we work to establish Your kingdom in the United States as it is in heaven. Amen.
Isaiah 55:11


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