Friday, January 29, 2010

1. WHEREABOUT PAUL'S JOURNEY



Why some congregation nodded their heads in the middle of  a sermons ? Did  they got what preacher had said or they didn't paid any attention to some parts of the verses that so boring and ununderstandable.

Story about places, countries in the old time, decribed in details in the middle of the sermon. We did heard the same places and stories a hundred of time like Corintians, Asia minor, Galatia, Ephesian, Tessalonica  etc etc,...........but no any explanation whatsoever what nation's name called recently.

Above was the continent's map, the most places written in the Bible, from Middle east, Northern Africa, Asia minor, South Europe and Meditterean sea, where Paulus Apostle teaching, stay, prisoned or  sailing  from Middle east to Rome far away.


To make it clearer, in this map we can see the most places, told in the sermons that Paul visited and send a letter to the believers there for reminding and strenghten them to kept the faith, to endure the hardship as a believer. The letters send to Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippy at Greese country and Epeshus, Galatia at Asia minor, also known as Soviet central Asia, bordered to Arab Syria. 
 
In the recent countries name, Thesalonica, Corinth and Philippi were located in Macedonia former Jugoslavian Republic, in Balkan region. Jugoslavia belong to East Europe, known as a Socialist/Communist , closed link to former Soviet union 

In 1991 Federal Jugoslavia dissintegrates as Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia declares the independence.
The Republic of Macedonia also proclaim the independence democratic state.


The gathering in above photo was reading the good news in the city of Philippi, located in North eastern Republic of Macedonia, former Jugoslavian Republic. Behind the elder in red clothes saw the verses in rolling wide paper as usually shown in Israel synagoges.
Colossae or Kolose, located southern of  Galatia, but the region belong to Turkey nation, a moslem country nowadays with Istanbul, the capital city.


This remain old building was located in Ephesus, under Moslem Republic of Turkey that Paul had send a letter to the believers who had run Church at Ephesus city on Medditeranian sea.
In Asia minor we saw Galatia and Collosse. Paul apostle had spent a lots of time to traveled by sea from Israel to Balkan and Asia minor until Rome,  Italy, South Europe. The Paul Journey to preach the good news happened 4 time, including journey to Rome, where he stayed in home arrest by Roman goverment.

This map show a clearer picture of Paul's journey in Asia minor between Jerusalem, Israel - Middle east (Asia minor) including Bahdag, Iraq capital and the two big, long rivers, Eupharates and Tigris, where some said Eden garden located in between - some said at Niles river, Egypt . In the northern parts we show Ankara, the capital of Turkey and also the new independence nation, Georgia, ex Soviet union country, with capital city of  Tblisi.

In order to spread the good news to the gentiles, Paul apostle written 9 letter in his journey to Balkan countries such as ex former Jugoslavian and Asia minor as Irak. Eight Paul's letters send to - in chronological order in the holy Bible  - Corinthians (2), Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thesalonians (2), Rome.

The preachers might be well informed as taught in the university where the places they just talking about. But they didn't bother if some listeners - including me - had no ideas at all where the exact cities or countries recently. So the head's nodding as mentioned above not as an understanding's indicator, but more likely sleepy, boring or didn't care, hoping the services should be over asap.

When my family returned from Israel in 1992 our guest, an old women came to my house, said in question mode :"I thought that Israel was located in heaven". As a senior women, she had heard the priests talked about Promiseland all the time from her childhood, but didn't awared that the country was here on earth.

Looking at this Middle east map, the red line  show  the path, Israelist went out from slavery in Egypt backed to their Promised land by wandering walking southward to Mt.Sinai - where Moses awarded 10 commandments - and then turned northward again. In the google map, its clear that the groups should be go straight to east to Canaan (Israel) coasting along side Meditteranean sea. Of course God had a plan for them to obey.

My priest, Mr.Arti Sembiring, a retired preacher at my church, Gereja Kristen Indonesia, Central Jakarta be able to described in details in chronoligical order, the old histories by memorized it fluently. Unfortunately, he had never been went there, to The Middle east, Israel, Jordania or Egypt that recently offered an itinerary holy travel to Israel. From 6 Priests in my church, just one had been visit Israel, Mr.Hendra Gosana.

Visit Promise land would be enrich the knowledges and the materials to be preached in any sermons and level off the faith of the congregation. But in the other hand, going there nowadays can't afford by the priests from their own pocket. The Church should programmed it in their budget, for conggregation's sake. 


Continued......
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