It was along this shore around 52 or 53 AD that a lady named female deacon of the church, named Phoebe, took a manuscript from the Apostle Paul and headed out to see with the intentions of delivering the valuable letter to the Roman Empire. (See Romans 16:1-2) It was from this same harbor that Paul left Greece and headed to Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem to deliver a much needed monetary offering for the struggling church.
I am so grateful and astounded that we read the book of Romans, one of the most monumental books of all writings after it was sent on its way with a seaworthy deaconess. As valuable as this book has come, it would seem to me that they would have gotten a bunch of guys and teamed up to make sure this letter was protected and delivered.
This harbor area was lined with buildings and people at the time and years later this site was a location of a Christian basilica and many earthquakes destroyed the city in 365 and 375 AD. Today when you go around the area, it is just a barren, deserted shoreline. We actually pulled over and just walked right out on the ancient ruins.
The idea that the bible is real and is a history book really comes to life when you walk and see the exact places where you read about things happening. Let us take this time to realize that what we are reading together was written to a group of people to get the good news, the Gospel. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring this letter to life. Let it be a special letter that you can read as the recipient. This book covers how we are suppose to live. It is great instructions for us today. Believe it, read it, live it out.
We will be reading, studying and living through the book of Romans, starting this Saturday. Let us come together and grow together as we receive this book from Paul, just as if we were the followers of Jesus in the churches of Rome.