Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 11 Patmos

Patmos

2014-01-20 07.39.59We had an early start, so that we had time for the four hour boat ride to Patmos from Kusadasi… and four hours back again! We passed through passport control and got more stamps in the passport, because we were sailing from Turkey to a Greek island.

We were treated to a beautiful light show just after sunrise. Thank you, God.


I am blessed to be unaffected by sea sickness, but many in the group suffered. It’s an awful feeling, and there is no relief when you are at sea. Everyone was really amazing about it, and I admire them. It was hard.



 St John’s Grotto

IMG_7753We visited the site of the cave where St John is reputed to have received The Revelation.

The Greek Orthodox Church have developed the site, and understandably venerated it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately it makes the whole thing feel a lot less like a cave, and more like “The Private Study of St John”, potentially losing something in the process.


IMG_7856

IMG_7858For example, there is a wall, with one small window, covering the entire opening of the cave mouth. The beautiful outlook that John would have sat contemplating is all but erased from the experience of being in the cave.

Nevertheless I am grateful to have been there. With some imagination to mentally remove all of the subsequent buildings, it is actually possible still to imagine The Theologian in the Cave.

The Monastery of St John the Theologian

Now, the Monastery at the top of the hill is amazing! It’s still functioning as a monastery, with a few dozen monks in residence. There are amazing frescoes, and a rich history. There is also a museum housing lots of great artefacts, including one manuscript which is 1400 years old…

Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos of the best stuff.

The homeward voyage

2014-01-20 11.14.05It took a lot of courage for those who had been seasick to contemplate the four hour journey back to Kusadasi. The reality was that they didn’t have a choice, but to walk onto that boat required real grit. I was delighted to have prayed with several people before we boarded.


2014-01-20 16.45.56

Mercifully, the seas were not quite as rough, and most people suffered less on the way back. It also helped that we formed a choir on the back deck, and sang ourselves home. The group was developing lovely harmony, which just reflected the personal relationships deepening between the members.

… and the sunset was lovely.


 

Engagement with the Text

The text for the day was Revelation 1. The visit to the cave was, surprisingly given the extent to which it is no longer really a ‘cave’, a great spot to visit and contemplate John’s exile to Patmos and the Seven Churches to whom the Revelation is addressed, some of which we had already visited. It remains amazing to me, to contemplate the density of Old Testament imagery, paralleled with contemporaneous topics and projected onto a superlative, cosmic backdrop. One might well call him St John the Charismatic Seer.


Other posts in this series:

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 0 Anticipation

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Posted on Jan 12th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 4 The Oracle of Delphi

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 5 Athens – Istanbul – Cappadocia

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 6 Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 7 Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch

Posted on Jan 16th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 8 Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea

Posted on Jan 17th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea Oh my goodness, what a day!   Hierapolis Hierapolis is mentioned in the Bible only…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 9 Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi

Posted on Jan 18th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 10 Ephesus

Posted on Jan 19th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

  Ephesus Just when you think you've got no more "wow", there's Ephesus... The whole site is like a visual feast. It reminded me of those…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 11 Patmos

Posted on Jan 20th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 2 Comments

Patmos We had an early start, so that we had time for the four hour boat ride to Patmos from Kusadasi... and four hours back again! We passed…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 12 Smyrna, Thyateria, Pergamon

Posted on Jan 21st, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Smyrna (Izmir), Thyateria, Pergamon (Bergama) It's a big day when you visit three sites. On top of that, two out of these particular three were…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 13 Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 15 (and 16) Istanbul

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 Istanbul This is quite a town! It has twice the population of the largest city in Australia. The road rules seem to be taken as no more than a…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: In Review

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The Greece and Turkey Trip in Review After we returned, I wrote a little summary of the Study Tour for my Bible College's magazine, Summa Supremo. I…

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  1. Was a privilege to have you pray for us that day Kev. God certainly answered that prayer!

  2. Absolutely. When a child asks for a fish, a good father doesn’t give him a snake. How much more then, does our father in heaven delight to give the Holy Spirit to those who cry out to him?

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