Sunday, 5 October 2014

For such a time as this

In his conversation with the people of Athens, Paul argues that God is different than the people imagine.  There's a sense in which they evidently believe God needs them - as if his existence is somehow incomplete without human beings and the attention they pay him.  Paul corrects this rather arrogant and human-centric viewpoint pointing out that God "made the world and everything in it" (Acts 17:24).  With such power, he is surely self-sufficient!

Paul continues with a description of God's providential care for human beings (who are reliant on him, even if he is not reliant on them!) and raises a couple of interesting points which are worthy of reflection.  They're not the main point of Paul's entire argument, but are nonetheless worth considering independently.  Paul writes (v26): "He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."

The Sovereign Lord of the universe who "made the world and everything in it" has also set in motion a plan in which people are allotted a particular place to live and a particular moment of history to inhabit.  Think of your own situation... you're living at this moment in this place, and this is the deliberate plan of God.  It's no accident.  Your presence in your local community is rich with meaning.  The fact that you're living now rather than 300 years ago gives you some special privileges over those who went before you and those who will follow you.  You have the unique opportunity to love and serve your neighbours.

So what are you doing with this unique, God-given opportunity?

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