When Paul preached in Athens, the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers regarded his message of the resurrection as the babbling of one who has picked up seeds of this idea and that and was passing them off as something worth hearing. To both groups the gods had no interest in human beings. The idea of a bodily resurrection was utter foolishness.
However, Paul tells them that the God who created the world and everything in it was not far off from anyone. In fact, God created humans to be seekers of God hoping that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Paul paraphrases Job, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” He also refers to a Greek poet quoting, “For we are indeed his offspring.”
Paul continues that since we are God’s flesh and blood offspring it doesn’t make sense that God would be made of metal or stone in an image fashioned by his own offspring. Rather God is very much involved in the life of the world. He is calling people to turn away from their own ideas and turn toward him. God has even sent a man to back up his claims on his offspring. Though the man died, he also raised him from the dead and in the light of this resurrection God will judge the world in rightness.
The prayer for this week reflects some of Paul’s thinking:
O God, the giver of all that is good, by your holy inspiration grant that we may think those things that are right and by your merciful guiding accomplish them; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.