Day 59 | Sunday, 17 May 2020
NOTE: We have a black bear in the neighborhood. It has taken down bird feeders of Carolyn, Eileen and Ann. Remove all feeder as sources of food for the next two weeks. Be careful when walking the woods - carry a noise maker if possible.
The assigned readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter are: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22 and John 14:15-21.
Paul became quite a witness for the Christ and the new age movement. In Acts, he finds himself in the middle of Athens which was the center of classical Greek learning and culture. In the midst of that setting, Paul introduces God as the “creator of all things, as the life-giver to all creatures, and as Lord over all nations.” We refer to our connection to God as being God’s children. Some translations use the term offspring. I have always appreciated that term “offspring” as I relate to God. I am part of God’s family. WOW! I am one of God’s beloved children. What that means to me is that I am loved, I am protected, I am not alone.
Acts 17:22-31 (CEB)
22 Paul stood up in the middle of the council on Mars Hill and said, “People of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way. 23 As I was walking through town and carefully observing your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown God.’ What you worship as unknown, I now proclaim to you. 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, is Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. 25 Nor is God served by human hands, as though he needed something, since he is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else. 26 From one person God created every human nation to live on the whole earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God made the nations so they would seek him, perhaps even reach out to him and find him. In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us. 28 In God we live, move, and exist. As some of your own poets said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore, as God’s offspring, we have no need to imagine that the divine being is like a gold, silver, or stone image made by human skill and thought. 30 God overlooks ignorance of these things in times past, but now directs everyone everywhere to change their hearts and lives. 31 This is because God has set a day when he intends to judge the world justly by a man he has appointed. God has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
22 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. "It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. 23 When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I'm here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you're dealing with. 24 "The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines 25 or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. 26 Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living 27 so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. 28 We live and move in him, can't get away from him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' 29 Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn't make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30 "God overlooks it as long as you don't know any better - but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he's calling for a radical life-change. 31 He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged, and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead."
Guiding Parent, thank you for your creation. Thank you for being a loving, protecting parent who has adopted us into your family. During these times when we are separated from our genetic families, it is so comforting to know that we are part of your family. In you, we move, exist and have our being. Let our words of praise fill our days. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: pray for your families.