The book “Songs of the Deliverer” tells the story of Christ re-imagined in modern day. The book is a work of fiction but the stories and characters are based on the New Testament. These Reflections are written to highlight the Biblical pericopes featured in the second book of the series, Faith Wins, to be published in 2016.
Referenced in Chapter 14
Where is God?
People have questioned the existence of God throughout time. Instead, they show reverence to cultural icons and worship them as gods. So it was when Paul commenced his missionary journey.
When Paul first started to teach, community leaders thought him to be irrational:
“The philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, ‘What does this babbler wish to say?’” (Acts of the Apostles 17:18)
But Paul pressed on in his faith and the philosophers and leaders became curious. They asked:
“May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” (Acts 17:19 – 20)
So Paul stood before them on the ledge of a prominent rock formation called Areopagus, also known as Mars Hill. He observed their allegiance to idols:
“As I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’” (Acts 17:23)
To them, God was unknown. And because he was unknown, they exalted idols and made them objects of their affection and sources of community pride. But rather than being paragons of virtue, these false idols were inducements for conceit and arrogance. Paul recognized this and he called them out:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything… we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.” (Acts 17:24 – 26, 29)
And then Paul told the people about God:
“Yet, He is actually not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being, as even some of your own poets have said, for we are indeed His offspring.” (Acts 17:27 – 28)
Some of the people scoffed at this and departed. Others stayed. He told them of the man God sent to the world to bring us salvation:
“He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31)
This man, Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah: “Behold, a young woman is with child and he shall be called, Emmanuel – God is with us.”
We know God as we know Jesus. Yes, God is known and God is heard and God is with us.
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