Sunday, March 19, 2017

Constantine I and the Edict of Milan

Lesson 14 of The Mystery of History, Volume II, is about "Constantine I and the Edict of Milan."  Mags and I have been studying the vast Roman empire that existed in the first few centuries after Christ's death and how the early Christians were severely persecuted by the emperors that ruled this empire.  But with Constantine I came change.  During his early reign, it is said that he saw a cross in the sky and a vision of Christ.  As a result of these experiences, he did something incredible for the Early Church.  He signed the Edict of Milan that ensured freedom from persecution for all Christians in the Roman empire.  Finally, they were free to worship!
It was also under Constantine's rule that disputes were settled in the church under the Nicene Creed, a statement of beliefs which states what Christians believe to be the truth about Jesus Christ.  We read and discussed the significance of this important creed and what it means for our faith.
Soon, Christian courts cropped up, and church leaders served in these courts.  Under Constantine, these leaders were required to wear long robes (like the Roman court officials did) which is why church leaders still wear long robes!  So, court robes came first!
We read some more about Constantine in The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (page 194).
(Here is an illustration from that page.)
Finally, we completed a couple of pages out of our Usborne Sticker Dressing: Long Ago sticker book, entitled, "The Byzantine Empire," (the same as Constantinople, named after Constantine, and also modern-day Istanbul, Turkey) pages 4-5.
Here is Constantine (in purple) with a bishop to his right.
 Note the bishop is wearing long robes.
This was a great lesson and learning about the survival of the Christian faith despite the persecution of the Early Church has further proven the faithfulness of our great God!  We ask that you please pray for persecuted Christians everywhere.

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