Sardis – characterized in the letter in The Revelation as being both alive and dead. RVL showed us how that imagery comes from the land – the acropolis and the necropolis. Hmm, wonder what Rabbi John learned that from.
Next we traveled along the ancient Roman road. Even though the religion was banned, some of these shopkeepers were brave enough to make a mark that would reverberate around the world. In a country where something like this faith dominates, do we have that kind of courage?
Around the corner is the gymnasium, where the humanistic world view predominated. A sacrifice to the false god was required. To what gods do we sacrifice our children when we hand them off to schools and colleges ill-equipped to deal with walking the one true ancient way?
As we saw in the Galilee, a synagogue with a school attached. Only this school is the school of the pagans. With the help of an exemption from state worship, Jews were free to say “Our God is the one true God.” In a world dominated by secular humanism and hedonism, are we strong enough to teach the One Truth?
Up on the mountain, the Temple of Artemis. Depravity of the deepest sort went on here. With vividly horrifying images, RVL recounted how in dark corners of this world, like Calcutta, such depravity continues.
And yet these early Christians were brave enough to build on the very grounds where this Gate of Hades stood. Where do we hide our churches?
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.