Sunday, January 5, 2014

Church and Lots of Marble Statues

Today we went to a Greek Free Church, and the National Museum.

With Denise Johnson in front of the church.

The Greek Free Church is distinguished form the State Church: Greek Orthodox.  As Klyne says, “To be Greek, is to be Greek Orthodox,” so those in  the Free Church here get some flack from time to time.  This response is the same as the Mission Covenant Church’s history in Scandinavia, and elsewhere.  The service was lackluster.  It was a one man show, and the congregation mostly “showed up.” 

But we did sing “His Name is Wonderful” in Greek, and most of us were able to put our NT Greek into practice, but I could not parse on the fly. 

After Church we ate in the plaza of the National Museum.

I took many pictures of artifacts.  They mean a lot when you see them in person, but pictures are not as valuable, so I will spare you but these three below.

This is a wall decoration from the early 1st Century AD.  

Please read the caption that corresponds to the relief.

When I first saw it I thought of the contrast of the satyr stooping at the god Dionysos’ feet to untie his sandals as compared to the image in John 13, of Jesus (whom I believe to be God incarnate) washing the feet of his disciples. 
One god demands that we untie his sandals, and the Other washes his disciple’s feet. 
But we must hold this in tension with the words of John the Baptist in Mark 1:7, “The one who is more powerful than me is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.”  Or again in John 12:1-8 where Mary pours perfume on Jesus’ stinky feet, and wiped them with her hair. 
This God is both humble and worthy of humble adoration. 
Perhaps it is because of this divine humility that God is worthy of humble adoration.  I know one thing, Jesus was explicit in his teaching that we humble ourselves before others as he did: “So if I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). 

This one is for my mother-in law Jan (and other hokey players).  This is from 510-500 BC.  Even though they are playing field hockey, you get the sense that humans have been playing games for a long time. 

This one made me think of  Jenny.  
This is a Tritoness, a sea goddess.  You cannot see it well, but she has two mermaid-like tentacles reaching toward her head.

Note the similarity to the Starbuck Logo.

On the steps of the National Museum.

Tomorrow we sit in 5 Lectures on Early Christianity and Graeco/Roman culture.
Hopefully all this study will make the upcoming visits much more valuable.

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