Acts 17: Uproar – Part I
Saturday, May 7, 2016
The Apostle Paul causes uproar wherever he goes in the name of Christ. He ruffles feathers. He points out inconsistencies. He speaks convincingly and with authority as one who has been on both sides of the argument. He inspires faith, hope and charity in some, jealousy in others. As with the story of David, another of God’s imperfect leaders, we understand that those who serve as God’s vessels will always be envied. This knowledge can discourage us from continuing in God’s service, or it can make us even more strongly bound to God. The choice is always ours to make.
We are further advised that if resentment is a constant companion in our lives, we will never understand the mercy God wants to show us in this world and the next. Therefore, we will want to learn to live without bitterness. It is not the treasure we want to set aside: Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth but rather, store up treasures in heaven. And heaven’s treasures are mercy, kindness and love. Matthew 6:19-20 and 1 Peter 1:17-19.
Each gesture and each word we enact in the world is our definitive representation of God. When we speak, or fail to speak, when we act, or fail to act, we bring God into our homes, our work and prayer places and our communities. What do our words and gestures say about who we are?
And so we consider . . . Rather than foment division, we want to add to the world’s serenity. But what about the kind of uproar that Paul causes? How does this fit into God’s design?
Today and tomorrow we reflect on an idea proposed by biologist E.O. Wilson and consider how his proposals affront or enact God’s kingdom. Visit the Smithsonian magazine to read, Can the world really set aside half the planet for Wildlife?
Tomorrow, God’s uproar.
Adapted from a favorite written in September 28, 2009.