Paul speaking to the Areopagus in Athens..
Reading Paul’s speech out loud takes less than two minutes. I rather suspect Paul spoke for longer than that – he did after all have to raise Eutychus from the dead after he fell asleep – and out of a window! – during one of his sermons. Although what we have is truncated, it’s still really important, as one of the few occasions we have of an apostle speaking to an entirely non-Jewish audience.
How Big is Your God?
Taking his cue from the Old Testament prophets, Paul shows how ridiculous idolatry is.. Far from being made in a workshop, God the God ‘made the world and everything in it’ (v24). He is not created, he is the creator of everything else. And so, says Paul:
- He ‘does not live in temples built by human hands’ (v24)
- He ‘is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything’ (v25)
- He ‘gives everyone life and breath and everything else’ (v25)
- He ‘made all the nations, to inhabit the whole earth’ (v26)
- He ‘marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands’ (v26)
- In summary, he ‘is the Lord of heaven and earth’ (v24)
God is not gold or silver or stone, he is not the product of our imagination (v29). God is the creator and sustainer of all that is now, has ever been, and ever will be. How big is your God?