To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Italy (3)

I want to dwell here upon our visit to Pompeii. The city of Pompeii was obliterated by volcanic ash emitted as a result of an eruption of  Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79AD.  The city has been re-discovered through archaeological excavations which have taken place over the last 250 years. We visited it on Monday, November 4th.

It is an interesting place to visit. The audio guide was not so helpful, but speaking to the personnel who were situated at certain parts of the site to keep watch and guide people was most helpful. They all spoke good English and seemed to be archaeology students at Naples University.

One thing that became apparent through visiting was that Pompeii was a place of gross immorality. Sexual licentiousness, fornication and lasciviousness were de rigeur in the place. It really had resemblance to a Sodom and Gomorrah type place. Here is one view on how we can consider the burying of Pompeii in volcanic ash as a judgemental intervention of God.

Further information on the happenings on that fateful day can be found here. I make two further observations:

  • South westerly winds were normal at that time of year in Southern Italy. For Pompeii to be devastated required North-westerly winds. This again points to the finger of God.
  • The previous day the Romans had been celebrating Vulcanalia which focused upon their devotion to the god of fire including volcanic fire. There is only one God of fire and that is the true God known through Jesus Christ.

In reviewing this whole matter we must be careful of saying this event happened as an act of judgement by God because of the sin of the people. The Lord warns of the danger of such cause and effect reasoning in Luke 13:1-5 where He says:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish

I conclude with three observations:

  1. When we see calamities in the world rather than rushing to apportion blame or attribute responsibility we need to realise that we are in a world destabilised by sin. And I am a sinner and I need to repent so that I will not face judgement.
  2. The similarity between what happened to Pompeii and what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah are striking. So striking that we hear the voice of God echoing through the Pompeii events and saying sexual immorality is detestable to me and devastating to humanity and my anger stands against those communities given over to it.

These two observations should gave us much pause for thought as to our own personal situations and the precarious position we find ourselves in in the West through the embracing of a multitude of sexual perversions

Italy (2)

Here are a miscellany of observations from our time in Italy:

  • We flew out with Ryan Air and manged to avoid spending any extra money on additional stuff. Meant travelling light and having small bags.
  • It is always a privilege to stay in a home in a foreign country. So rather than being a tourist viewing from the outside, you actually get inside the culture. As a result you see and experience so much. What a privilege this is.
  • it was great to be with the Catchpole family and their various guests who were coming and going from their home. Their welcome and hospitality was so beautiful, Their open home was a challenge to our tendency to make our homes a fortress.
  • We drove a bit through Alec kindly loaning his car. This was generally OK, but driving on the right-hand side does present its challenges on account the necessary re-adjustments that have to be made. The traffic of Naples on Monday evening was pretty dreadful and an experience all of itself.
  • We had plenty of pizza which is only to be expected in Italy I suppose. Generally it was really good quality.
  • It was great that May Lin got on so well with Patrizia and that Zech was able to play stuff with their daughter, Joy.
  • The cheek-to-cheek greeting for both men and women was somewhat culturally different for us, but it seemed courteous to participate in the accepted cultural mores.
  • Great to be able to talk about Scripture and the Lord’s work and ways with Alec and Patrizia.
  • Partizia is doing a great work in the prison in Pozzuolli with the ladies incarcerated there.
  • Seeing the warmth of relationship between Alec and his children was warming and challenging. His willingness to spend time with Joy and help her with her studies was admirable. I was challenged about how much time I invest in my children; Alec certainly set a great example.
  • The humour seems to have a certain brutality about it. If you know someone rally well it is reasonable to greet them by pointing out how ugly they are for example.
  • How blessed it is to see them still zealous in serving the Lord.

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