I climbed up a hill to see what remains of the Temple of Poseidon. It was around 7:00 pm, so the climb wasn’t too bad, but my feet were pretty dusty by the end of the night.
It was around noon when I hiked up to the Parthenon, where the ancient Greeks worshipped Athena. It was pretty far removed from everything else and extraordinarily hot. The path to get there was also semi-difficult.
We drove 3/4 of the way up this mountain in Corinth, then hiked the rest. It was about 45 minutes up what seemed to be an 89 degree slope in the 105 degree weather. We were dropping like flies. Many didn’t make it the whole way and several ended up throwing up just off the path. But for those who made it to the top saw a flattened area scattered by rocks that once composed Aphrodite’s Temple.
I walked up 5011 uneven steps in order to see where the Greeks worshipped Dionysus in the theater.
After a 3 hour drive from Athens and a short hike we reached the remains of the Temple of Asclepius, where Greeks would travel in hopes of remedy to any ailment they had.
Another 5 hour drive took us to Delphi, where Greeks would travel to see the oracle, who would be able to tell them their future, perhaps in the vaguest of senses, but their future nonetheless.
When the ancient Greeks wanted to worship a god, it was a commitment of time, effort, and faith. They travelled all across the nation to reach one god who may or may not help them. They gave everything they had to pieces of stone in hopes that they may find peace, wisdom, healing, or salvation. So, what Paul writes to them in I Corinthians 3 comes as a shock.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
These people have crossed the globe for wavering and faltering gods, but the perfect God with eternal foundations is with them always.
Paul wasn’t joking when he said to the Areopagus in Acts 17 that, “[God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us…”
We do not have to walk for miles to find a god that may or may not help us. He found us! Our God does not live atop Mt. Olympus, but within us. And his kingdom does not crumble – it is eternal! We do not have to leave everything we have to pray because Christ left everything he had so that he could intercede for us. We don’t have to endure the elements to praise our God because he doesn’t want the blood of bulls and goats, but rather our love. We do not have to test our Lord to see if he will bring peace – he is the Prince of Peace who delivers peace that surpasses all understanding. We do not have to pay for the love of our God because he is the definition of love and he overwhelms his children with it. We do not have to sacrifice animals for our healing because our God sacrificed himself so that we may all be healed from the deadliest of diseases. We do not have to travel to a woman who mysteriously reveals the secrets of our future because our God designed our future flawlessly and he promises to fill it with welfare and hope if we trust him with it.
How blessed we are to have an unreachable God reach down to us and save us from all that hinders us from him!