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Backpacking to Colosse

Sheep following shepherd on a hillside
Sheep following shepherd on a hillside

Let’s grab our backpacks and hike to Colosse. That way, hopefully, we can see some of those black sheep grazing on the hillsides and, possibly, get a glimpse of the shepherds as they tend their flocks.

It’s a long dusty road, but we can’t wait to see famous Colosse. Since it was such a successful economic center, it must have one of those nice high-rise hotels so we can rest our feet for a day and view the city from an upper balcony. Yes, and let’s go shopping and get some souvenirs to take home with us.

But something’s the matter. What is it?

The maps says Colosse was right here, but where is it? I don’t see any city.

Maybe it’s just over that rise and we can’t see it. Let’s climb that mound and then we’ll find it.

Look at the map again. Did we take a wrong turn?

No, we’re at the right place. My calculations show that we are standing right on top of Colosse.

What? Standing on top of it? You mean it’s under our feet?

Yes, this mound is all that is left of Colosse. No big city, no high-rise hotels, no large banks, no merchants’ stalls.

What happened? It was such a prosperous city. Are you telling me that now all that is left of Colosse is this mound of dirt? We must find out what happened to the city.

Yes, we must; and what happened to the people who lived there, especially the church.

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History in the Making

Colossae

Other than the biblical reference to the name, little is known about this faraway place. It was a bustling city, caravans traveling through laden with goods, merchants buying and selling, banks prosperous with the exchanging of monies, etc.

As one traveled the highways in and out of the city, sheep would be seen grazing the hillsides, shearers would be doing their duties harvesting the prized black wool, and shop owners would be seen beckoning tourists to stop and purchase their wares.

Colossae was part of a tri-city area. Two important trade routes crossed its streets. With such important commerce, it seems this city would remain prosperous.

But what happened to Colossae? Where is it today? Why should we remember it?

We’ll explore this in a later post. But for now, you may want to take a closer look at a special letter to these people of the past. It’s found in the New Testament entitled The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.

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