Today was a transition day. We moved from the north of Greece (that was on the shores of the Aegean), back down towards the middle of Greece. But we still had the chance to visit some pretty cool places.
Anyone recognize this guy?
Yeah, that’s an old bust (the head of a statue) of Alexander the Great. I’ve learned more about his victories and legacy on this trip than I ever have before. He was quite the guy! Our first formal stop (other than the truck stop) was in Pella, Greece. Pella is the ancient city that’s known for the city that Alexander the Great was born in. Apparently the residents of the nearby town are quite proud of this. As they should be!
We first visited the museum in which we saw hundreds of artifacts dating back to 300-200 BC. These items were found all around the ancient city of Pella. One of the great discoveries in this museum was one of three massive mosaics. These mosaics would have been the floors to some wealthy houses in Pella. Below is one of them. (Keep in mind that these are quite large – probably somewhere between 15-20 ft x 15-20 ft).
We then walked all around the ruins taking in the different houses and the massive agora (the marketplace).
After that, we made our way to Veria (which is also the location of the ancient city of Berea). The town was busy and moving – one of the busiest towns we’ve encountered on this trip. Our intention was to stop there for lunch and then go to a memorial for Paul to hear Dr. John speak. Unfortunately, lunch took a little too long, so we gladly just headed straight to the hotel in Kalambaka – another two hours away.
Anyways, we never really got a chance to look around Veria, but here’s a shot. The actual city centre is behind me in this picture, so this is more of the edge of the city.
Beria (which is modern day Veria) is famous for one thing. This famous “thing” is found in Acts 17:11, “…they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” The Bereans were famous because they didn’t just take Paul at his word, but they listened to Paul’s preaching of the gospel of Jesus, and then looked to their Scriptures (at that point, it would have been the Old Testament) to see if what Paul was preaching was true.
This action of “examining the Scriptures daily” is unfortunately lost among many Christians today – at least in the West. We’re so easy to believe whatever comes at us (or not believe), when we should always be testing everything to Scripture.
We need some Berean blood in us.
So we hopped back on the bus and made our way to Kalambaka. On the way we ended up driving down through a valley that was quite beautiful. At the very bottom we crossed a river and I was able to quickly capture it. It may not look like much, but it was really nice.
We arrived at our hotel, ate some dinner, and then listened to a great Bible study with Dr. John on the Berean church, and then the gospel.
One of the many “takeaways” from his study was this: when you’re helping a new believer with what they should read, suggest that they first read Mark or Luke (and you can determine which is better based on the person), and then after that read Romans.
Why Romans? Romans is a letter that Paul wrote to the Roman church before he even went there. What’s contained in Romans is the essence of the gospel – it’s the one book in the New Testament that really encapsulates what the gospel is all about.
I’m inspired to read through the letter to the Romans again in the next few days. You should to.
Well, tomorrow we pack our bags, visit some monasteries in Meteora, and then drive back to Athens! We spend the night in Athens, then hop on a boat on Monday. But more on that later.
See you tomorrow!