Thursday Feb 13 our Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center leadership journey group made important stops and connections. We began our morning leaving Thessaloniki with a visit to Berea where Paul preached in the synagogue and was well recieved. Three marble steps remain from the synagogue that are now part of a remembrance of his time there. There also is a marker remembering the day in 1943 when, during the Nazi occupation of Greece, the remaining Jewish people in the town were rounded up and sent by train north to death camps. Sobering and somber remembrance.
From here Paul went to Athens by boat so we will catch up with him in a couple days. We then we 15 kilometers down the road to the tomb of Phillip II of Macedon. The father of Alexander the Great, Phillip was a great king who began uniting Greece after the Peloponnesian War. He was assassinated by one of his generals at his daughter’s wedding and his tomb was uncovered in the 1970s. Our tour guide studied under the Greek archeologist who made the discovery. The level of wealth and power on display in this tomb is remarkable and gives perspective on how Alexander was able to raise armies that soon would conquer the know world. In addition it gave us time to talk about leadership and hubris as well as the dissonant message of Jesus and later Paul who proclaimed a resurrection from the dead that meant you don’t, as Phillip did, need to take it with you to the grave.
From Vergina we drove over the mountains to Kalambaka so we are ready to visit the monasteries of Meteora in the morning. Late afternoon we stopped in a shop that makes icons and we observed a Greek Orthodox priest painting those icons. Part of the devotion and tradition of this community.
Alexander’s conquests changed the world in his 33 years. Jesus Christ in his 33 years on earth also changed not just the world but all creation. The impact of Alexander on the world in which Christ lived and Paul proclaimed is dramatic. Glad we can have these powerful learning experiences. #NTNL #BWTX #InMissionTogether