Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region. (Acts 18:23)
The field trip of a lifetime—that’s what my daughter experienced while she was in high school. Her class traveled 1,200 miles to visit Washington, DC, nearby founding fathers’ homes, and the battlefield at Gettysburg. She and her classmates toured the symbolic sites of United States history, from its revolutionary beginnings (the Washington Monument and Monticello) to its most divisive wars (Cemetery Ridge and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial) to its centers of scientific and political significance (the Smithsonian and the Capitol).
When Paul returned from his second missionary journey, he took a similar tour of the early church’s landmarks. His stops included Caesarea, where gentiles first followed Christ (see Acts 10); Jerusalem, the birthplace of the church (see Acts 1–2); Antioch, where the disciples were first called Christians (see Acts 11:26) and his missionary career began (see Acts 13:1–3); and Galatia and Phrygia, home to converts from his original mission trip (see Acts 13–14).
Getting in touch with our past inspires us to live in the present with a sense of gratitude and responsibility. We can’t all travel to historic sites, but we can read about our heritage. As Christians, our earliest history is recorded in Holy Scripture. That’s where we find monuments of God’s power, memorials to his people’s struggles, and landmark teachings on how to live for him. That’s our heritage! Tour it often. Treasure it always. Stay true to it daily.
Give thanks for the Bible as you give yourself to its authority.
Jerome Van Kuiken is a missionary kid, a pastor’s kid, and dean of the School of Ministry and Christian Thought at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.