Site Overlay

What I learned in Greece/Italy

January 29, 2019

     I have so much going through my brain that I want to share in this. Number one being that I had the incredible privilege of traveling to Greece and Italy on a trip with my school. Before we left, I naively thought that our trip was going to be more of touristy activities and things that were awesome. What I quickly found out was the endless history that provides new light and gives completely new dimensions and perspectives to our time visiting. Our faculty leader, Coach Arnold, took the time of writing a devotion for us each day to read before we went to the sites in order to provide Biblical context to what we were going to be seeing. It was his words and insight directly derived from the teachings of Paul in the Bible that opened my eyes to the packed layers, the important dimensions of each place. Therefore, I wanted to share my processing of his devotions and my experience to hopefully provide beneficial insight to you. In the quick time we were traveling, I heard more history and saw more beautiful buildings, people, and places than I could process at the time. So, here is my attempt at compiling my thoughts about my past week as I sit on the plane leaving Rome.

        It has always been a dream of mine to go to Europe, and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity. We traced the footsteps of the apostle Paul in our time there. The ability to actually walk where he walked and see the places that are described in the Bible provided me the immense blessing of learning more about the birth of the Christian church than I could have ever learned in a classroom. First, in Greece, we visited Thessaloniki where Paul preached and moved on, Phillipi where he was imprisoned, then Athens where he gave his infamous “unknown god” sermon to the philosophers and thinkers of the time, and then Corinth where the ancient ruins give an outline of the very place in which Paul encouraged the people of the church there to rebuke the sinful ways of their city and instead encourage one another in Christ. In Greece, I had two favorite moments, one at the Baptistry of Lydia and the other at the city of Corinth. More is to come in a future blog about Lydia, but for now, I will cover the ruins of Corinth. In Corinth, sin covered the ancient city knee deep. Sexual immorality and sinful practices ran rampant everywhere. However, as strongly as Paul rebuked the people of the Corinthian church, he just as powerfully called up and bolstered the followers of Christ there to Jesus-filled lives, ones set apart from the temptations of their city. I envision this exact interaction Paul had with the Corinthians to be one that would like awfully similar to how he would react to our society. In a world that praises instant gratification and worships earthly temptations, I can imagine Paul pleading with us to find the strength of Christ needed to live differently, to not conform to our enticing environment. To me, it sounds like we could all benefit from Paul’s advice in this way. After Greece, we travelled over sea to Italy. First, Rome was everything I had ever imagined it to be and more. The beauty, historical splendor, and aura of the city cannot be put into words. There, we got to lay hands on the buildings and step in the streets of the birthplace of the Christian Church. The rich history and development of the city has gone from a place in which Christians were persecuted, condemned, and killed for entertainment to a place that takes distinct pride in rich religious history and its symbolism of the Christian church that is has grown into today. To say the experience was incredible is an understatement. No words can describe the sense of security and firm belief in the foundation of Christianity that is captured when you see the Colosseum, the Roman forum, St. Peter’s Basillica, the place believed to be a prison where Paul and Peter were held, and so many other places. What I think I learned most about the church and it’s growth and life from my travels is the longevity of it. There are still ruins were Rome began on top of a hill where shepherds gathered. There are still ruins of the stadium where Christians were killed for their beliefs, a stadium built by the money gained from the sale of the Jewish people and their temple’s riches. There are still ruins of the cities where Paul walked through, preached, was imprisoned, and boldly encouraged the followers of the Church, without fear of the persecution and rebuke he often received as a result of his preaching. However, there are NO remains of the last church of Christ. The church is alive! There are no remains of the burial of Christ. The ruins of the ancient cities we saw only enrich my faith in Jesus. We can be confident that our faith, our belief in Christ does not come with a shelf-life or a timeline. It is by Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary and resurrection on the third day that we get to boast in our victory. The war has been won. The body of Christ, the bride of Christ is an everlasting promise, secured by God’s love and sealed by Christ’s resurrection. I pray this is an encouragement to you today and a testament to the power of Jesus and His body. Reflecting over such an amazing week has allowed me the opportunity to really mull over all my eyes saw and ears heard. I don’t think I will ever be able to soak it all completely in. God has distinctly laid his footprint over every place and behind all of stories we heard. I will never know all there is to know about the history of the Church or all of the details about its persecution and prosperity. For now, I am extremely grateful for the ability to have gone to those places and heard all of those things. Some of our questions may never be answered on this side of Heaven, but it is with great curiosity and expectancy that we get to await the day in which we can go to Jesus himself. All of the ruins will perish and all earthly things will eventually be destroyed, but it is with confidence that we can boast in the eternality of Jesus and our lives in Him.

With love,


Copyright © 2024 Embody³: An invitation to EFIL . All Rights Reserved. | SimClick by Catch Themes