#Lent14: Rebuilding The Ancient Ruins

As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts.  In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom.  We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.

A reading from the Prophet Isaiah.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.  Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!  Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.  Then your light will shine out from darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.  The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like and ever-flowing spring.  Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.  Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”

Isaiah 58:9b-12 (NLT)

This is the Word of the Lord.

One of the amazing things that we get to do in our travels is visit ancient cities.  We have had the privilege of walking the streets of Ephesus, Olympos, Phaselis, Side, and Aspendos.  We’ve stood in the middle of 2,000 year old market places.  We’ve walked alongside water distribution systems and stood on the dock in ancient harbors.  We’ve wondered about the conversations that took place in the middle of bathhouses and libraries.

In these cities that we’ve walked through, we’ve found the ruins of many churches.  1,500 year old structures in ruin.  And, we’ve prayed.

See, Turkey has been called “The Other Holy Land”.  24 out of the 27 New Testament books were either written to or from Turkey.  Paul’s Missionary Journeys criss-crossed the land that we know call Turkey.  It was the seat of power of the church for nearly 1,000 years.

And, yet, today the church in Turkey is only a fraction of a percent of the population.  .2% to be precise.

So, we pray.  We pray that this land that was where the word “Christian” was first used will again become a land where Jesus is lifted high and God’s name is glorified.

We pray for the believers who are there to have courage to boldly proclaim the Kingdom.  

As you look through the following photos that we have taken on our previous trips, pray.  Pray for the Kingdom to come.  Pray for rebuilders of the ruins to rise up.  Pray for His name to be made great!

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Inside the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Library of Celsus (right) and The Lecture Hall of Tyrannus (left)"

Library of Celsus (right) and Lecture Hall of Tyrannus (left)

The Tomb Of St John

The Tomb of St. John, Selçuk, Turkey

Agora of Smyrna, Izmir, Turkey

Agora of Smyrna, Izmir, Turkey

The Harbor at Antalya, Turkey

The Harbor at Antalya, Turkey

5th Century Church in Olympos, Turkey

5th Century Church in Olympos, Turkey

Walking Down the Street in Phaselis, Turkey

Walking Down the Street in Phaselis, Turkey

Agora of Perge

Agora of Perge

Ampitheatre of Aspendos

Ampitheatre of Aspendos

The Martyrium at Side

The Martyrium at Side

(If you’d like more information on these sites and all of the Biblical sites within Turkey, then check out Dr. Mark Wilson’s book “Biblical Turkey.”)

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