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Showing posts from April 28, 2014

Galatia

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We journeyed five hours today from Adana through the Taurus Mountains and the Cilician Gates, northeast to Konya, ancient Iconium in the province of Galatia. These steep hills were Paul's only land route between Cilicia and Galatia.

Along the way we stopped in Ulukisla to see a carvansaray, the three day way station for Silk Road caravans. But it's Monday and we crashed the bazaar. You'd think we were Martians. 

"Hello. Where are you from?" "California." "Oh, Americans!" 
What a surprise, and what beautiful produce and smiles.

Paul wrote his first letter to this region of Galatia, to the believers in Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. He was incensed about their following a different teaching and adamant about living by the spirit and not by the law. Circumcision, the major identifier for God's people, was the focus of Paul's letter.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith express…

Antioch

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Father Domenico carries on the 2000 year old tradition of the house church in Antioch where followers of the Way were first called Christians. A Franciscan, he has served as parish pastor 25 years, following a 20 year ministry in Smyrna at the Church of St Polycarp. 

He opens the courtyard doors to welcome all to explore the Christian story through paintings on the wall: Jesus died and rose again; we celebrate The Lord's supper in remembrance of Jesus' death; and the annunciation (also in the Quran) tells of the word of God, and giving birth to Jesus, the Son of God. 

It's his joy to tell the Christian story in a majority Muslim country. "Dialogue and respect is the fountain of peace."
Against convention his Catholic Church has Vatican dispensation to celebrate Easter on the same day as the Orthodox Church. Both churches coordinate mass so believers can attend both. Icons are hung on the wall out of respect for the eastern traditions.

They are just a sliver of the p…