We began Emily's birthday by singing to her, and everyone's eyes lit up when they spied the chocolate cake that accompanies that song here in Greece! After that, our Sunday morning called for prayer and singing in the bus as we began our day trip into Athens. Our driver said, "Heaven just came down to me. Thank you." This group can really sing. And they share their gift of song with me and everyone around them. The driver requested more songs, so we will sing for him on the way back from Athens. All people long for connection, and music provides that easily.
The Acropolis Museum sits below the real thing, and we tour that building first, as we prepare for the climb. The Acropolis is next; we learn about its architecture, its builders, and the patron goddess of the city. Even with scaffolding, the Parthenon reigns as the shining star at the top of the hill. It's cloudy today, but the sunset normally makes the Parthenon a golden hue, and I hope the students take time to glimpse this scene before they leave this country.
Just a few downhill steps away, Mars Hill is our next stop. Acts 17:16-34 tells the story of Paul's journey to Athens. We hear about the time Paul was here, speaking to the philosophers of the time atop the rock that is in the shadow of the temple to Athena on the Acropolis. Every single time I ponder Paul's time in this place, I admire his academic connection to these Greek thinkers. And then I admire his impact of the people in this land who have a cross on their blue and white flag still flying today.
On the top of Mars Hill, my sweet-hearted husband helps our minds focus on Jesus and on what should drive our thoughts and purpose and actions. The Greek language helps us here, and we continually learn what the Father teaches us in His word. We share in communion up here and connect like we haven't quite yet. It's a special time together.
After some free time of shopping in Athens, we share some singing on the bus on the way back to our campus. Our driver thanks us and says, "Thank you. Paradise. Paradise on earth." Singing is a gift that we are able to give freely anytime. It lifts us up when we feel a fervent need to be close to God and even when we are not conscious of that need.
A pizza party awaits us back on campus, so I'll sign off now. These students can contemplate important ideas and can throw a rockin' pizza party when it's time. They're keeping us young.