May 11

Acts 17:22-25

“For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” vs.23

The people Paul encountered in Athens were proud, sophisticated, and tolerant of a variety of religious views. They had a long history of debate and philosophical conversation and loved to hear scholarly presentations with a universal perspective. Of course, Paul is no slouch himself–he had sat at the feet of the finest Jewish teachers and likely was familiar with the Greek philosophers. Like a skilled debater he starts his presentation at the Areopagus by reporting observations made during his tour of popular tourist stops. He has noticed an interesting altar inscription and reports that he has astounding information about their unknown god. He agrees that the Lord of the Universe is invisible to human eyes but goes on to say that this God is the creator and sustainer of all that exists. His statement of faith continues to be our own basic understanding of the Divine Mystery. We may not be able to find words to adequately describe God’s awesome presence, but we do believe that this God is the Ground of all Being. This basically unprovable truth is undeniably believable, and people of faith for many generations have continued to depend upon it for their healing and hope.

Thought for the Day: What do we miss if we deny the existence of God?

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