What I’m Thinking: Knowledge and Mystery


It’s the Season of Creation, so we turn from the Revised Common Lectionary to a modified set of readings for September. That brings us to the Book of Acts, where Paul comments on an altar to “an unknown god.”

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking today about the people along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana, who have been so terrible battered by Hurricane Harvey: the folks in Houston, and in Rockport, and in I don’t know how many other communities along the shoreline. I’m thinking of you. I’m praying for you, and I’m going to be supporting you with a financial gift through the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries. I hope others will join me or make their own contributions through agencies that they know do good work in response to disaster.

I’m thinking also about the seventeenth chapter of Acts. At Church of the Holy Cross, we’ll be following the Season of Creation through most of September, and this first Sunday is Forest Sunday.

But the seventeenth chapter of Acts is not set in a forest, it’s set in the city of Athens, where the Apostle Paul tells the Athenians about an altar he has seen: an altar that is dedicated to “an unknown god.” “What you worship as unknown,” he says, “I now proclaim to you as known.”

Well, that is the push and pull of spiritual life, isn’t it? The push of what is known: what we have received and understood about the spiritual realities of the universe, about the love of God, and about God’s work in Creation. And then there are the unknowns, the mysteries, the things that lie beyond what we can immediately perceive.

Both are powerful realities in our life.

That’s what I’m thinking! I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. So please leave your comments in the section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: | Posted on August 28, 2017

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