Another field trip. This time Husband Jared, the Things and myself headed to Mother Mary's house and Ephesus.
This sign greeted us as we entered the House of the Virgin Mary.
It is said that the Apostle John brought Mary here after the crucifixion. This is the place where her final days were spent. It explained the historical soundness in the discovery of the location, complete with an address in the USA to write to for more information. Interesting. The Things and I were expecting to see an actual home that was still standing. I know, ignorant. At any rate, the location is beautiful. And there is a "silent chapel" for candle lighting and reflection.
A prayer wall. There were bandanas, scarves, remnants of clothing, paper, tissue, even wrappers. Scribbled with prayers offered.
And from here on to Ephesus. Which is down the windy mountain road. Ephesus is a well preserved site in comparison to others we have visited here in Turkey. The original pedestrian marble street leading to the library and Agora are still in tact. Exquisite. There is even an ancient "restroom". Husband Jared offered an example but the Things would not participate.
The best was yet to come, for me anyway. The facade of the library took my breath away. Seriously, any of you who know me, know how I feel about books and libraries. I touchedthe walls of this structure and imagined the literature that must have been housed there. The scrolls, the feet that would have walked across the threshold. Awestruck. That was me.
Husband Jared pointed out to us symbols that were carved into the marble. They were put there to let the people know which stores were Christian owned. There were also game boards carved directly into the marble. They looked similar to mancala boards, and even tic-tac-toe. On the library steps there was even a carving of a Menorah.
From the library and Agora it was onto the ampitheatre. This particular setting could hold 24,000 spectators and was said to be originally a Greek ampitheatre. When the Romans controlled Ephesus there were gladiator battles as well as the lions. We walked the hall and saw the hidden rooms behind the "stadium" where lions, people and gladiators would have been, chilling. While there we even heard an Italian tourist display his opera skills. The acoustics were phenomenal.
|Yes, those are the Things, way up at the top!|
As we do when headed to a historical site such as this we read the passage in the book of Revelation contained within John's letters to the 7 churches in Asia Minor, this time the letter to Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7 NIV). The church in Ephesus was commended for their perserverance and reminded to stay fervent in their love and passion that was prevelant when they first became believers. We also found a passage in the book of Acts (Acts 19:23-41 NIV)pertaining to a riot that took place in Ephesus. Paul had been residing in Ephesus during the time of his third missionary journey. In the ampitheatre, the same one we stood in, the silversmiths protested. They were in the business of building idols, and worshipping the Temple of Artemis. The Word that was spreading through the area threatened their livelihood. It is said that the conflict was not directed towards Paul's words but rather the threat of losing their profits.
Everywhere we turned history surrounded us. In front of the terrace homes, where the wealthy would have lived, there were gorgeous frescos, such as the one below.
Statues, carvings, marble were at every turn, more than I could process.
Even the Things noticed every remnant of the aqueducts, the various style of columns, and of course they quoted their Mama as they always do, by saying, "Just imagine the conversations that took place on this very ground, in this place, thousands of years ago". Apparently those are my signature words. Really though, my brain can not even process what took place. And then the relation and perspective I am able to incorporate as I read His Word. So blessed.
With that conundrum and lack of cohesive writing style I leave you with this photograph. The Things to their credit did share that this was the "best" of ancient ruins thus far. Thing 4 commented on how well the "streets" were preserved, Thing 2 made rest stops at each and every fountain, Thing 4 wandered through, embarassed that her Mama was taking photographs of everyone and everything and Thing 3 asked questions as to what time period every fresco was from and whom was buried in the sarcophagi. I think our upcoming school lessons will involve the history of Christianity and ancient civilizations. This Mama has much to learn.