Text: Acts 17:1-15
To remember that you are under the protection of the True King
To not give ultimate meaning to political or cultural forces
To live in the hope of the Resurrection
THE STORY OF ACTS continues on the road as it takes Paul to Athens, with eventful stops in Thessalonica and Beroea. Paul begins, as is his custom, in the Jewish synagogue, but troubles soon begin, for as Paul moves deeper into Greece, the challenges his Gospel presents to the political and cultural become harder to ignore. The city descends into chaos as a mob seeks Paul and his companions because they have come urging allegiance to an upstart king. As Paul moves deeper into Greece, his message will challenge even more deeply the political, cultural and religious life of his audience.
It is hard for Christians in our day to understand how counter-cultural Christianity is; we live in a world that has been built around the ethics and cultural practices of the faith and we assume that such circumstances are “normal.” But the Scriptures are clear that the normal situation of humanity is what Paul found as he traveled: humans are tribal and idolatrous. We are suspicious of those who are “not-us” and we build our cultures on the idols we make for ourselves. As the Church emerged, followers of the Way of Jesus were accused of being enemies of the state, polluters of culture, and atheists. No wonder people rioted! Yet as the Church grew and thrived, people discovered that the peaceable kingdom brought by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ put an end to the strife and sorrow, the cruelty and capriciousness they experienced.
As you live in our world that is changing, do not be afraid! Let us keep walking in the Way of Jesus, and be bearers of his peaceable kingdom to the world.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks