Little Altars Everywhere

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SCRIPTURE: Acts 17:16, 22-28

Acts 17:16, 22-28 Common English Bible

16 While Paul waited for [Silas and Timothy] in Athens, he was deeply distressed to find that the city was flooded with idols….
22 Paul stood up in the middle of the council on Mars Hill and said, “People of Athens, I see that you are very religious in every way. 23 As I was walking through town and carefully observing your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an unknown God.’ What you worship as unknown, I now proclaim to you.
24 God, who made the world and everything in it, is [Ruler] of heaven and earth. [The Creator] doesn’t live in temples made with human hands. 25 Nor is God served by human hands, as though [God] needed something, since [God] is the one who gives life, breath, and everything else. 26-27 …In fact, God isn’t far away from any of us. 28 In God we live, move, and [have our being*]. As some of your own [Greek] poets said, ‘We are God’s offspring.’

* exist

Acts 17:22-28 The Message

22-23 Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for [those questioning him about Jesus’ teachings]. He said, “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, ‘to the god nobody knows.’ I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-28 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this [Ruler] of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands, as if [the Almighty] couldn’t take care of [God’s self]. [The Creator] makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make [the Creator]. Starting from scratch, [God] made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find [God]. [The Ruler of Sky and Land] doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. [God] is not remote; [God] is near. We live and move in [God], can’t get away from [God]! One of your [Greek] poets said it well: ‘We are [God’s offspring,] the God-created.’

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