Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thinking about Egypt

Egypt has been such an important country/civilization in the history of the world. The world knows of the Pharoahs, the pyramids, the wonders of an ancient civilization. I heard reports about the city of Alexandria, Egypt in turmoil from demonstrations against the government. Alexandria is such a well-known name to anyone who has studied church or world history, as Alexandria was the intellectual center of the early church (Carthage and Antioch have some bragging rights as well). But, Origen (born in the second century, a.d.) and Athanasius were both from Alexandria. Origen who is probably the greatest Biblical Scholar of all time laid the foundations for theologians and biblical scholars who followed him.

Egypt was the land in which God was revealed as the God of Israel was manifest as a God of history who took action for the oppressed Hebrews in history. Of course, God confronted the power of Pharoah, to expose that Pharoah was afterall only a human being, no matter how much he was worshipped and now matter how divine he seemed to be.

Egypt, the land of learning, the land of bondage, and later the land which became home to Christianity and some of its greatest leaders.

I pray for Egypt and all that it is going through in the hopes that the "revolution" that seems to be going on will lead to a new day of real freedom and dignity and justice for a nation that has been at the center of human civilization for a long, long time. In the early days of the Church, Egypt had a great influence and close connection to other African peoples to its south who lived along the great Nile River. If Egypt moves in a good direction, maybe its influence will bind it to its fellow Africans of the Nile Valley as closely as in the past.