Two Sundays ago, I led a prayer and intercession for Greece as the country held its referendum to accept or decline eurozone bailout terms. Oxi No! was the result but this morning's agreement appears to be harsher than the one Greece said no to. The turn of political fortunes at least kept me interested in Eurozone happenings. Can you imagine a Europe without Greece? Classicists and New Testament scholars must be lamenting to see the fall and fall of Greece after leading the world in democracy and liberal values. The speech of Pericles is something I know as well as my favourite NT passages.
Tonight I read the whole of 1 Thessalonians. Imagine the NT world or Paul's world without Greece (Macedonia and Achaia)? You have all the famous cities mentioned in this Pauline gem. Thessaloniki, Athens, Philippi where Paul was persecuted and had to flee. The whole of Macedonia and Achaia got to hear of the Thessalonians' faith and love after they accepted the Gospel as the word of God and not of men. Imagine NT without Greece. Then, you have take out 5 out of 13 Pauline letters. 1 and 2 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians and Philippians. And sixth if you count Titus who was in Crete, an island of Greece. Did not Paul write to the Romans from Corinth? Imagine a Europe without Greece. I could imagine a Europe without Germany but without Greece Europe would have lost not just its roots but its heart. If that happens, there will be Europe no more.