Paul in Athens – Risen, Not Rocks – One of the more famous moments in the Christian Testament is when Paul is in Athens, surrounded by statues and monuments to the various Greek gods. His initial reaction is intense and negative – he has what is literally described as a paroxysm – that is, a “convulsion, fit, spasm, outburst or explosion” that was as emotionally felt as it was physically manifest. This might explain why those who were first listening to Paul thought he was “babbling”. Perhaps, before he was able to gather his wits about him, he was so upset that he just wasn’t making any sense.
The religion Paul shared with the Athenians was about as absurd to them as their religion was repulsive to him.
A religion that was “cast in concrete” was not all that for foreign for a Jew like Paul. After all, God’s commandments were written in stone. But the command of YHWH was clear – No images of any kind, made of any substance – The people of Israel were to bow down to nothing and no one other than the God who is not in wind, earthquake or fire.
This week – we’ll talk about idols. Have you got any? Is there anything – or anyone you have been ‘bowing down to’ lately that makes you feel the worse for having done so? How might we cut our idols down to size?
Scripture Lesson: Acts 17:16-34
The Message: Risen, Not Rocks
“La Pieta” – A Replica. If you have any thoughts after watching this video, please feel free to share them in the “Comment” section of the blog or on Facebook.