As I write this Rod and I are looking forward to a 12-day spiritual journey traveling to the area traveled by Paul. We will tour and learn about the life and teachings of Paul as they are identified in the Book of Acts.
Our guest lecturer on this trip is Bishop Bruce Ough. Bishop Ough is the Bishop of the Minnesota and Dakotas Conferences of the United Methodist Church. We are traveling with a group of 45 from around Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. Rod and I are excited to venture into this opportunity.
Bishop says the following in his opening letter to the group:
Imagine yourself in Athens, standing in the marketplace (agora) where Paul debated with the leaders of the many religious and philosophical schools that flourished there. Some of the Greeks took Paul aside and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means” (Acts 17:19-20). The deep “strangeness” and mystery of the Christian message is perennial, as is the imperative to not only understand it with our minds, but to also let it shape our hearts and lives. Through this pilgrimage you will be confronted, shaped, and enlightened in new and profound ways by the “strangeness” of the Gospel.
I expect to learn and be transformed by this experience and I look forward to sharing with you when I return.
Blessings to You,