Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Christmas

Hallac monastery and church, Cappadocia.
To write about Cappadocia, I had to consult a lot of books.
- books on early church history
- the Byzantine Empire
- The Ottoman Empire
- Cappadocia
- The Armenian Genocide
- the Greek-Turkish population exchange
- the Acts of the Apostles
- travel guides to Turkey
Years ago I acquired this book, 'The pilgrim church' about all the 'fringe' groups who long for a return to the first principles of the first Apostolic church. The Methodist church being one of these groups of churches, where their adherents were the very poor and uneducated, whose hunger for the word of God surpassess any we see today. How the itinerant preachers started education programs to teach them to read the Bible. I see, in Cappadocia, the same hunger, the figurative frescoes of Christ's life, of a time long past, of a people whose faith in God was important. Today as we celebrate Christmas, I see people lining up, waiting all night, to buy the latest toy or a TV..... we know who Lady Gaga is but not who St Paul was..... a few years ago the daughter of a staff of mine called, I asked what she was doing, to which she replied, 'nothing'. I said, why don't you read a book, she replied, why? Today at 19 she's a single mother and on welfare.
Proverbs 4:23 says 'Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.' To change our lives, something has to change, maybe our reading habit....
A few days ago, a book I ordered arrived, its a used book but rare and expensive... It came, bubbled wrapped and had a label 'fragile, handle with care' on the box. Wow! It's a book about the Haghia Sophia church in Trabzon, Turkey, a place I'll be visiting next year. It was written by a Scotsman, David Talbot Rice, a Byzantinist, that is an expert on all things Byzantine. I know how to give myself gifts! Give the gift of curiousity this Christmas.

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