Today we're heading out of Athens to go to Corinth, another highlight of this part of the tour. I felt it very fitting after yesterday, to share in a devotion on the bus from 1 Corinthians where the Apostle Paul was thanking God for the believers and asking Him to strengthen them to the end and being blameless in the day of The Lord. This is something that I pray for our group members too as some were getting sick and couldn't take part each day or even had to postpone travelling home. In this passage of Scripture, Paul had also been speaking about how God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and He has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong. We've seen proof of this with all the ruins and statues that have been destroyed and re-erected because they mean nothing and God is the Only One who wants to be worshiped. The passage ended with a reminder to us that we need to boast in The Lord if we're going to boast at all. It struck me again how many emperors wanted to be worshipped as a god, wow.
On our way to ancient Corinth, we stopped at the canal. It was raining but that didn't stop us from getting off the bus to walk on the bridge to take a picture of the canal. I remember how last year Brandon had told me that he planned on going bungy jumping off the bridge over the canal but when he got there, it had been closed. Oh thank You God! :) See? I didn't have to worry about him doing that cause God took care of it in His own timing. :) But wow, this canal is massage and still being used today by cargo ships, small cruise boats and fishermen. It was cool to see.
It was still raining lightly when we arrived at the ancient city of Corinth. We only stayed in the lower city and did not hike up the mountain for 2 hours to get to the top of the fortified part of the city. Brandon had done that last year and he got some fascinating photos from up there of himself, so at least I can see the view from his pics of that. :) The letter of 1 and 2 Corinthians that the Apostle Paul wrote to the people here came to life for us as we skimmed over them....on being faithful managers, hearing about the immoral church members and why some women shaved their heads and therefore Paul instructing all women to wear a head covering to keep some women from being shamed or not being accepted..no different for the reasons he gave why these women shouldn't speak up in church...it all had to do with the context of what was happening here and was not intended for women never to speak or teach or enter a church without their head covered. Wow! Have we ever taken a lot of the Scriptures out of context. It was so great to gain more insight on all this here right in Corinth. So much more and I could go on and on about the Book of Corinthians :) ...but I want to highlight the Bema Seat. Acts 18 tells us of the founding of the Corinthian Church and so to read the passage from verse 1-17 right here in front of the Bema/Judgement seat was incredible. I had a fellow in our group read the passage and his son was quite pleased to be able to take a photo of his dad reading here. As a leader, I love to engage others in Scripture reading, prayer and devotions and when we don't and only allow ourselves or one other person to do it all, we rob others of the joy of participating and having special moments themselves. It's so important as a leader to allow others to share and have such precious moments themselves, it makes the journey so much more meaningful to them and to the group. As we were told in this passage, the leader of the synagogue believed The Lord, along with his household and many of the Corinthians, when they heard they believed and were baptized. The Lord spoke to Paul in a night vision and told him not to be afraid and to keep on speaking and not to be silent, for He was with him and no one would lay a hand on him to hurt him. Wow! How encouraging to hear! Paul stayed in this city for 1 1/2 years teaching the Word of God among them. 2 Corinthians 5:10 also tells us about appearing before the Bema/Judgement Seat of Christ one day so being here was quite significant. Paul taught the Corinthians many things and we have so much to learn from them and from what he taught them about living the Christian life. Again, I'm so very thankful to be here and learning so much!
After leaving the ancient city of Corinth, we stopped for lunch at a lovely locally owned restaurant. I was thankful for a sit down meal where we got served, rather than another buffet. :) In this area was one of the largest orange groves so the hillside was beautiful with all of the ripening orange trees. :) It was wonderful to eat Greek souvlaki here...and share a brownie with ice cream with one of the older fellows on the tour....it was soooo yummy.
After lunch we went on to see the main centre of the Mycenaean world from between the 16th and 12th century BC. What a stronghold on top of this mountain. The entrance to the city palace was called the Lions Gate and it was massive!! The view from the top of this place was spectacular! Cool to see such an old place. Seeing their large pyramid grave was very interesting too! We also stopped at a place that makes pottery....so much to see everywhere we go! :)
That brings us to a close to another great day! But we first must say goodbye to a few people who had joined our group at Ephesus and again on the cruise ship and stayed with us in Athens and Corinth. Many people were coming and going off this tour that it was hard to keep track of everyone, but we sure met a lot of great folks! We caught a small glimpse of what the Apostle Paul went through on his missionary journeys, always meeting people, strengthening each other with the word, praying and singing together and then having to say goodbye, like this lovely pastor couple originally from Texas but now pastoring in another state :) I have a hard time to remember where everyone is from. :) I'm thankful for each and every one that I've met on this tour.
Off to a new journey to northern Greece tomorrow. :) Blessings to you all!