Acts 17:15, 18:1 Reflection:
As we develop the story of the formation of the Church we are given today the great speech that Paul gave to the wise men of Athens. In one of their temple’s there was an empty stand which had nothing on top of it. This was the stand of the ‘Unknown God’ and represented that God which we intuitively understand to be there and is the God who is God over all the other man made gods. The Greeks were by no means stupid and most of them recognised that a statue of a dog had no power.
However, without the revelation of the scriptures they had no accurate understanding of what the concept of God really was. Now Paul arrives and tells them there is One God, he has come among us, died on a cross and has risen again. For some this is too much and they laugh at the idea of a God who lives among men and dies. But others hear the Word and respond positively.
“We are all his children, and since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man. God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant…”
When we read these words we can see so much of what goes on today, the people who mock the idea of a personal God and can see no sense in the life of Christ. We are reverting to the ideas of the pagans, that I pads, smart phones and the like, have some way of making us immortal: we don’t even think of what we are doing.
I like the line, “God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant…” We have all been ignorant, now we know different. The call to us is to live as people who do know different, not the way we always lived!