Sunday, October 4, 2020
"So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.' Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new." - Acts 17:19-21
Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone was more like the Athenians from this passage in Acts?
We, as humans, tend to encounter something strange and push it away, silence it, change it to be more like what we’re used to or comfortable with, or...at our worst….kill it.
Not so with Paul and the Athenians. They realize they have no idea what on earth Paul is talking about when it comes to Jesus. They’re Pagans, after all. Yet, here we’ve got some Pagans that want to understand better and aren’t afraid to be challenged and to hear something new.
Yet, their receptiveness to telling or hearing something new brings them the gift of the living God. It brings them the Good News. Being open to understanding that which is strange to you and wanting to know what it means can lead to all sorts of blessings. It seems so contrary to the world in which we live so much of the time these days. “That’s strange...get rid of it!” How often do we quelch new ideas, new relationships and friendships, new possibilities because something or someone is new, strange, or “other” and we push it away?
We would do well to learn something from the Athenians.
Creator God, help us to be more like the Athenians that spent their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new so we, too, might be a new creation.