Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Lesson

We went to church today. Our church's presence in Greece is really small. Phil's armchair estimate* is that there were about 25-30 people at our meetinghouse today. I'm going to talk more about church below, for those who care to read it. For those who don't, here's the Arch of Hadrian:

This arch dates to about 131-132 AD.
They don't really know why it was made. They have theories, though.
The only things you  need to know about it is that it's old,
and within walking distance of church.

This was our first week as churchgoers in Greece, apart from the incidental religion we've intercepted from the church across the street. Our meetinghouse is in the heart of the tourist district, between the Acropolis, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. I've heard there is a killer view from the roof of the building. Maybe I'll sneak up there sometime and find out for myself.

We are one of two American families that attend. Many of the others are African refugees. I'm trying to wrap my head around how different their lives are from mine. Here I am whining about how difficult this move has been, in housing I don't have to pay for, with the ability to go home and work whenever I want. Some of these people haven't seen their families for years.

Most of our fellow church-goers are fairly recent converts to this church. Phil and I were born into it. Because our church is participatory, we're going to be expected to lead the way in a lot of doctrinal discussion. In fact, next week I'm supposed to lead a lesson in our women's group. I'm having a hard time trying to reconcile the idea of me teaching about humility like some sort of expert, to people who have fled their homes.

One interesting aspect of our church is that we are attending an English-speaking branch, so most people there speak at least two languages. Today at church, I heard: English (thankfully), Greek, French, and Russian. It amazes me to see other people switching easily between languages. I wish I had that skill. The language barrier has been so frustrating. I just want to be able to communicate with people.

Talk about being humbled, though. There's nothing like moving across the world to learn how many privileges and opportunities you have.

Now there's a Sunday lesson for you.

*Phil was sitting across the living room in an armchair when I asked him how many people he thought were at church today.

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