Athens: Mars Hill
Immediately after touring the Acropolis of Athens, we went down to Mars Hill, part of the Areopagus, which was an official place for the council of the city to meet. Mars Hill is famous for being the place on which Paul gave his speech to the men of Athens in Acts 17:16-34 concerning the temples to "the unknown god."
Being another major historical sight that we visited on only out first day of touring, my experience on Mars Hill was extremely special and powerful. The first picture in this post is a view of Mars Hill from the Acropolis itself, the next picture is a view of the Acropolis from Mars Hill, and then final picture is a scene that I captured of one of our professors reading Paul's speech to us while we sat atop Mars Hill. This picture captures the phrase, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands... so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us" (Acts 17:24-27).
This moment on Mars Hill was a powerful one for me because I could see the words on the pages of my Bible come to life and jump off the page; they were real. I have always loved thinking about the Bible as more of a historical document that should be read as such, but for the first time, I could see that truth in action. The words and accounts in the Bible really happened in places that the people of Athens see every day. As was the case on many of our stops both in Greece and Israel, I was one of the last people to rejoin the group at the bottom. I could not pull myself away from the sights and powerful history and meaning that overwhelmed that place. Even though it was one of the first experiences of many throughout the trip, it is still one of my favorite memories from the trip as a whole, simply because of the way I felt there: feeling of which I would give nearly anything to feel again, but then I remember what Paul said to the men of Athens in this very place. God is not far from any one of us. This became a recurring thought process for me through the trip; I felt so close to God, close to history and the places on which my own faith was founded, but I am just as close to God here at home as I was in Athens or Corinth or even Jerusalem.
"He himself gives everyone life an breath and everything else. From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would see Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:25b-28a).