Cities of Hope: Rome - Center of the World and Beyond

Romans 1:1-17

Paul the Traveler from Jerusalem to Rome and Beyond
Jesus, after his resurrection, sent his disciples gradually out into the world -- Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria -- then "to the end of the earth." That was not just a geographical, but cultural, racial, political, and social transformation. From a conception of God centered ethnically, politically, theologically on the Jerusalem temple, to a realization of God in and for all peoples in all lands.
That was part of the 'conversion' that seized Paul. As a national Messiah, Jesus was impossible. Crucified! But if he was true/raised/alive, then he exploded the ethnic/political/class barriers and entanglements. He showed God creating a bridge of faithful love to all of his alienated creatures.
Paul (with Steven, Philip, Peter, Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Priscilla, Aquila and so many others) set out across the world (Roman empire and beyond) with that transforming vision. Luke records the story from Lk 1 to Acts 28, from Jerusalem temple to Rome. Paul's letters let us see inside events into the depth of spiritual power that could break hatred and draw people to God together.