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18 January 2009

Ruins and Remains

Recently I was invited along for a personal tour of Corinth with Sam and Fran and their visiting friend Judy. The tour began with a view of the cannel. It made me dizzy I must say, but it was an awesome sight.
Our little group then headed to the site of ancient Corinth, which sat at the foot of the mountain.

Sam was a wonderful guide with some Scripture passages, as well as facts and a map of the city in it's height.

What struck me the most was the fact that despite the amazing construction, all had gone the way of destruction. It seemed just a perfect reminder that all things of man's making are fleeting. Not to mention that it really drove home to me the fact that Greece has held onto much of its idolatrous past in the remains of ancient idol worship temples. All desire to visit such temples and such fled at the thought that these were places where idols were worshiped...a strange reality.

In the museum there are some stones which indicate that a Jewish synagogue was indeed located in ancient Corinth. It was amazing to see the writing and wonder about those who worshipped there, and those who shared the gospel in that spot.

I also marveled at how much people believed in supersitions. A display showed how early healing treatments took place, with the patient making a clay replica of whatever body part which was ailing them to then be offered up to the gods for healing.

The goddess athina is pictured with an owl in her hand, which is still a symbol in the city of Athens. It is no wonder that this city has so much lurking in the shadows when it is named after an ancient idol!

This Bema is perhaps the place that Paul stood when questioned before the authorities. In the distance could be seen on the top of the hill the temple to aphrodite, the goddess of love. We read that it might take almost two hours to climb the hill to the temple, where at least 1000 temple prositutes waited. I was shocked to really contemplate how much of the current situation has been shadowed by the sins of the past. I could not get over people taking such lengths to serve an idol, and rejoice in their followings.
With these thoughts in mind, our little group marveled at the perserverance of the saints before us in light of the ancient Corinthian culture. It made so much more sense to see that hill looming over everything else.

Any good tour must end with food (I believe that is a Proverb?!?), so we enjoyed some great tradional Greek food and fellowship.

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