I am so excited to announce a “Greek Giveaway” to conclude the
“Aha” – Adventures In Greece Series.
Info will come out on social media tomorrow, so stay tuned to my Facebook and Instagram pages.
(Links are under the “Connect Tab” at elainestone.net)
Just a small way for us to celebrate Greece together and hopefully, a reminder of an “AHA” that spoke to you. If you missed any AHA’s, they started back on April 23rd. See the “Prior Post Tab” on my website. Click Here for the first one.
Our first night in Greece… Athens. We made our way to the top of the hotel and the above pic was our view! Breathtaking! The visual you come to Greece for! In all of its glory, there it stood. Above the city. Towering over the residents: displaying its grandeur and prominence. Visual power exhibited. It felt like I was on a TV special: add a little background music with the perfect swell and crescendo; tears would’ve accompanied my goosebumps.
I’m not sure where I was when Greek Mythology was being taught. I remember the name of a few gods, and that crazy things happened, but the overall concept didn’t stick or deleted when my “files got full”.
So, imagine our first morning out in Greece, so excited to see what my eyes had only imagined and our tour guide says….
“There was an Acropolis above every major city in Greece!”
Hold on…. WHAT? … There was more than one!…. Why does the entire world only talk about the one in Athens?… I am so confused!!
My brain stopped for a moment … so what’s the big deal…. It’s not a big deal. They lure us to Greece and it’s not the ONLY Acropolis!!
(I am likely the only one who didn’t know, or remember!! Don’t speak … act casual… collect yourself… hold on… things will be okay.)
When my hearing returned, she said, “There was a different major god for every city. They were the ‘main god’ whose job it was to watch over the city and whom that city worshipped.” “Like Athen’s god, was Athena.” “The Acropolis for that god was built on the highest hill above the city, because they believed the gods lived upward in the heaven-lies. So, they built the temple as close to the gods as they could get. Believers only went to the temple once a year, on that god’s designated day.”
The reason the Acropolis in Athens gets so much attention is because it’s the most well preserved. It’s the best example of what the temples looked like, today.
Our guide pointed out other hills where the Acropolis for that city used to be, but they no longer stand, destroyed by earth quakes or invasions.
On our last day in Greece, we climbed the assent to The Acropolis, along with 3 million other people. (grin) (This tourist site could use some organization; no real line, hundreds of steps, people trying to get up and get down at the same time, guides forcing things, oui vey… cattle herding chaos… forced grin.)
AND, we finally make it to the top… it’s under reconstruction! Of course it is…. like always, I’m told! So there are cranes and construction equipment in just about every pic. Oh, well… when in Greece… just being real!
The structure is impressive, mind-boggling so. How did former civilizations, lacking construction equipment, do this? Everything pulled, tugged, lugged up the highest hill. It’s incredible, an amazing reality, that man achieved this so long ago! Its massive expanse impressive, especially when you consider they built it for their god… they lacked no expense, nor effort in providing their god with the best they could imagine or manage.
Kudos, props, and admiration for their diligence to present their god with the finest they could give! They “showed up” and “represent”! Well Done!
Half way up to The Acropolis in Athens, there is a prominent rock outcropping, known as Mars Hill.
It overlooks what was once the Agora, the Marketplace, in ancient Athens. The Agora has some buildings on it, now, and trees, but it was once the hub of the city. This rock outcropping is the spot known for judicial actions. Court was held here. The most scholarly, powerful, political, philosophers, aristocrats and theologians congregated here; for business and dialogue.
This large rock holds biblical significance to Paul.
Acts 17:19- 21
19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus (Mars Hill) where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
Paul explained to them, who the “unknown god” they were worshipping was!
If you read all of Chapter 17, you’ll find the whole story. Click Here.
Every city had its Acropolis to worship the god of the city. But, they also had small temples in the city to all the other Greek gods. They didn’t want to “leave any god out” or “offend any other god.” Just in case that didn’t cover everything, each city had a temple to the “unknown god”. They were covering all their bases, just in case!
On this day in Paul’s journey to Athens, he preached about the God of Creation and Jesus! He seized the moment God put before him. Several of these learned prominent men believed in Christ after Paul’s speech. One of them being Dionysius, a judge. (Acts 17:34)
Dionysius became the first Bishop of Athens, spreading Christianity: later martyred for his faith. (For more fascinating info, click here.)
God used this rock overshadowed by Athena’s monumental temple to spread TRUTH, His Words, to this people pursuing mythological gods. God meets people where they are and uses where they are to present Himself! Paul spoke their language, they feared there may be some unknown god enough to build him a temple. BAM… God sent Paul to enlighten their suspicions!
My heart literally races thinking about this and how God moves, speaks, and pursues men!!! (I might start shouting, if I don’t move on!)
Given all the above, imagine our guide saying this:
“The Greek people were ripe for Paul’s message… that Jesus was the Messiah, sent to earth by God, the God-man, to save us!! The gods the Grecians worshipped looked like people!!! All the statues and rendering of Greek gods had the statues and appearance of men and women. Other civilizations had mixed animals and man figures or just animals for gods. Greece was the only culture with total human looking gods. So, they could easily transfer and accept Jesus as God!!”
AHHHH, AAHHHAA… why have I never heard this or connected this before?
Why did God lead Paul to Greece to Christianize the world? God knew they were ripe for harvest. Their mindsets and beliefs would make an easy transition to accepting Christ.
BOOM… God uses man’s misguided attempts to satisfy their spiritual natures and turns it to truth, evangelizing the world! Beginning with Paul!!!
Paul’s journeys make so much sense! God dispersed the church and sent them out to bring home His lost ones. He launched Paul into the region that could reap the most harvest and then evangelize the European continent and beyond.
God’s ways are AMAZING! MIND BLOWING! WONDERFUL! DIVINE!!!
Antío, Greece, for now. I am sure I will carry you forward and find you popping up other places. There’s so much more… a piece of my heart is yours!
A Bucket List Check,
Stay Tuned tomorrow for the Giveaway from Greece!!!