Whose Story Are You Living?
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols…
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. - Acts 17:16, 22-25.
Paul goes on to say, “In him we live and move and have our being…” I love this bold claim Paul is making. The Athenians have an impressive desire for something spiritual. But, Paul tells them, they have things backwards. They are creating gods for themselves, as if they can bring their gods to life and provide for them. The true story, Paul teaches, is that God creates and cares for us. It’s his reality that defines ours; it’s in his great drama that we find ourselves as characters.
Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre puts it this way: “I cannot answer the question, ‘What ought I to do?’ unless I first answer the question, ‘Of which story am I a part?’” This morning, let’s take a few minutes to talk this over with God. What stories, or deepest beliefs, have defined your life so far? What difference would it make in your life if you learned more and more to see yourself as ultimately a character in God’s story of creation and care and grace?