Monday 31 December, 2012

Acts 17:22-34

22 Then Paul stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus. He said, “Men of Athens! I see that you are very religious in every way. 23 As I walked around, I looked carefully at the things you worship. I even found an altar with to an unknown god written on it. Now I am going to tell you about this ‘unknown god’ that you worship. 24 “He is the God who made the world. He also made everything in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples built by hands. 25 He is not served by human hands. He doesn’t need anything. He himself gives life and breath to all people. He also gives them everything else they have. 26 From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live. 27 God did this so that people would seek him. Then perhaps they would reach out for him and find him. They would find him even though he is not far from any of us. 28 ‘In him we live and move and exist.’ As some of your own poets have also said, ‘We are his children.’ 29 “Yes, we are God’s children. So we shouldn’t think that God is made out of gold or silver or stone. He isn’t a statue planned and made by clever people. 30 In the past, God didn’t judge people for what they didn’t know. But now he commands all people everywhere to turn away from their sins. 31 He has set a day when he will judge the world fairly. He has appointed a man to be its judge. God has proved this to all people by raising that man from the dead.” 32 When they heard Paul talk about the dead rising, some of them made fun of it. But others said, “We want to hear you speak about this again.” 33 So Paul left the meeting of the Areopagus. 34 A few men became followers of Paul and believed in Jesus. Dionysius was one of them. He was a member of the Areopagus. A woman named Damaris also became a believer. And so did some others.

In the past, most people

believed in a god, at least one, but today, it seems that we can choose to believe in no God, or we explain everything away and we believe we can do anything we put our minds to, so who needs a god anymore?

When Paul enter

ed Greece and noticed altars to many different gods one altar caught his attention, the one labelled “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” or the God nobody knows.

Worshipping many gods is not anything new; we probably have done this at some time in our life. It could be an addiction, a bad habit, a bad relationship, or sin you simply can’t seem to overcome; anything that we bow down to, is a god; even if we don’t always name it that way. The number of gods out there competing for our adoration is like having a big bowl of chips or chocolate in front of us; one is never enough!

In reality, don’t crowd your life with other gods; remove them, so the one true God is the only God in our life.

Later on, Paul addressed the people and appeals to them how the philosophers think about religion and their gods. Through using their language as a way to connect with them, he preaches to them who this unknown God is, that is Jesus Christ.

Is this the same as today? Back then people had many gods, but today, many have none. It’s easy to share our faith with others who believe what we believe. God asks us to share our faith with those to whom God is unknown. Paul preached the one true God, Christ crucified; it was enough then, and it is enough today.

Written by Cathy Croft

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