I don’t think Italy needs me but I still enjoyed Italy today. This is a long one but I have so many words. I ended my day at Cattedrale di Saint Maria del Fiore. I had toured yesterday and it is very near where I am staying. I’ll watch my home church on-line in the morning and was looking forward to returning for religious services. Being a Protestant, I love God’s word and thought I would fit in. If God enjoys these holy traditions I do not find in the Bible – it is OK by me. What marks this largest church I have ever been in is a mosaic at both ends showing Jesus crowning Mary as the Queen of Heaven. She is called the Mother of God but she was the Mother of Jesus – the 100% human Jesus (who is also 100% God). There is the trinity (also a word not found in the Bible) where we see the three-in-one fellowshipping from before time. There is not another representation of holiness. How honored to be chosen by God to parent the God-man but still not a part of the God head. I could follow most parts of the service but not the kissing of the Bible and kissing a tablecloth. Special folding of napkins is also odd to me. I could not kneel because I currently wear a brace on my knee. When it came to communion I noticed that each member bowed to the priest. I could not. The sermon, however, was really touching. It was the Samaritan woman at the well. The priest from Uganda focused on the well. 1) That water is a free gift and will satisfy. 2) Humans go for other wells – travel, money, sex, worldly things, etc. 3) There are many examples in scripture were meetings at a well resulted in a family and commitment to wholesomeness. The priest closed with a reminder that only Jesus has this free living water. I can overlook the confusing differences for a good word like this.
I also spent time in the morning at the Galileo Museo. He was best known for analytical dynamics, heliocentrism, kinematics, and observational astronomy. It is said that astronomical discoveries in 1609 heralded a “revolution destined to demolish an image of the universe that had been held for 2000 years as it undermined faith in man’s privileged position in the universe”. This antagonism claimed Galileo as a victim as the church opposed science. I am a bit of a science geek but if God created the earth then he created the laws (physics) that maintain it and every “analytical” dynamic! Telling the truth (let alone discovering it) is costly. Telling the truth of Jesus is similar. A Muslim may be afraid of it. It does not sound like the koran. A Japanese household may not accept the new faith in Jesus of their child. It upsets the norm of ancestry worship. The truth is not well received in politics if that particular view is not believed by you. The truth will not change because you don’t agree. Galileo did die of a weak heart but he did suffer in many ways. He began his career as a math teacher (me too) and wrote his first book that year, “A Little Balance”. He taught at the university level for the next 18 years. There was an inquisition in Rome and the book he wrote in 1616 was banned. He was condemned of heresy and spent his remaining years imprisoned, but still wrote, and his last works were smuggled out of Italy.
It still sounds like those imprisoned for the gospel who continue to serve the Lord however they can. I don’t think I am brave like so many followers of Jesus but the truth is worth saying at all costs and to save as many as we can influence for Jesus. God bless the Uganda priest who served Jesus so well tonight.