We headed north from the town of Kalambaka, which nestles below the Meteora monasteries, into the lush landscape of western Macedonia (said to be one of the poorest regions in Europe). That reputation is surprising since at first sight the region is well watered and covered with Platania trees, corn, vineyards and lavender. Herds of goats stroll in the shade of the forests. Bears and jackals roam the hills. One can imagine the young Alexander the Great hunting here with his father Phillip. Greece is often portrayed as a land of idyllic islands, yet its largely unadvertised north, with scenery similar to Austria and Switzerland, awaits discovery. As we continued our journey cloud filled the valleys to our right, the morning sun not yet at the zenith of its strength to melt away the mist. The country road wound gracefully past the Pindos Mountains which were the scene of guerilla warfare during the 1907-12 Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks. During World War Two more fighting took place here against the Germans. After the German flight from Greece in 1944, a civil war ensued between Greek Communists and Nationalists. The United States napalmed the mountains in the fight against communism, a precursor to a later war in Vietnam. We crossed a narrow stone bridge above a gently flowing river. War seems incongruous with the peace that now pervades this place. Our first destination along the Via Egnatia was Berea (Veria) where Paul went having been run out of Thesssalonika. Despite his troubles Paul was not shaken. Run out of town, he still reaches out. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. We were privileged to be able to enter the restored synagogue, built on or near the building Paul preached in. This synagogue is no longer used, the Jewish population having been deported during World War Two. 700 Jewish men, women and children were taken from this synagogue to concentration camps. None returned. Paul found 'the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians.' Though Cicero labeled Berea as 'off the beaten track' (Against Piso 36;89) we should not judge a book by its cover nor a people by its critics. The Bereans were like the 'man of noble birth' (Luke 19:12) in Jesus' parable. They were fair minded, unprejudiced and willing to listen without bias. 'They received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.' They met daily to examine the Old Testament to see if the gospel Paul preached squared with the Scriptures (Acts 17:2-3). Though they were being taught by the most famous apostle and the author of at least 13 New Testament books, they searched the Scriptures to see if Paul's teaching was true! Like Pilate's close examination of Jesus (Luke 23:14) they wanted to know, 'Are these things true?' Scripture is divinely inspired. The primary way the Spirit of God speaks to us is through the pages of the Bible. Jesus said, 'these are the Scriptures that testify about me.' (John 5:39) Christ is the focus and fulfilment of Scriptures. 'The Bible is not a book for casual reading. Listening to and for the Word of God demands of us openness, concentration, thought and prayer. We must absorb and be absorbed by the Word of God.' (Alan Reynolds) Casual Christians become Christian casualties. 'Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.' We know of one, 'Sopater son of Pyrrhus of Berea.'(Acts 20:6)As far as we know Paul wrote no letter to the Berean Church. Was that because they were so immersed in the Scriptures that they needed no further correspondence? H.V. Morton writes in his book, 'In the Steps of Saint Paul, 'While the memory of Saint Paul has almost vanished from its larger and more famous neighbor Salonika, little Berea is immensely proud of its connection with the apostle. Any small child in Berea can lead you up to a veiled off enclosure in the school playground and point out a flight of stairs from which they will tell you, 'There Paul preached... and on the top step the Greek word PAULOS is engraved.' 'When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching... they went there... agitating the crowds and stirring them up.' Berea is the fifth city Paul was run out of by an angry mob, stirred up by envious Jewish leaders - the others being Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:45, 50), Iconium (Acts 14:2, 5), Lystra (Acts 14:19) and Thessalonica (Acts 17:5-8). They 'stirred up' (saleuco - a word used of earthquakes in Acts 4:31 and 16:26) the crowds. So 'the brothers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea.' Paul was sent away to Athens to continue in his ministry, but Silas and Timothy remained in Berea to take care of new church. Do we search the Scriptures daily? We must read the Scripture eagerly, for there the treasure of truth is to found.