Acts 17: 16-31

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  • The Known Unknown

    by Neil Bishop
  • Easter 6A (2020)

    by Marissa Coblentz
  • Truth Telling

    by Jason Cox
  • Exegesis (Acts 17:22-31)

    by Richard Niell Donovan
  • The God of Unexpected Things

    by Christopher Edmonston
  • Easter 6A (2020)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Easter 6A

    by Bill Loader
  • Experiencing the 'Unknown God'

    by Daniel London
    One theologian who is particularly indebted to Pseudo-Denys is an anonymous English author who wrote a text called The Cloud of Unknowing in 14th century Nottingham, the old stomping grounds of Robin Hood. Although the apophatic tradition does not conflate images with the divine, the Cloud author uses images to describe the human relationship with God. He explains that between ourselves and God, there is “a cloud of unknowing,” which we cannot penetrate with our thoughts, but which we can penetrate through humble love. The Cloud author invites us to “shoot humble impulses of love” like arrows through this cloud. He offers a practical way to do this which has come to be known as “Centering Prayer.” This prayer practice involves using a sacred word like “God” or “love” or “Christ” to help quiet the mind and to detach ourselves from our thoughts. This sacred word is meant to be repeated as a kind of mantra, an anchor in the stream of consciousness. Whenever we find ourselves getting carried away by our thoughts, we return to the sacred word. By returning to the sacred word, we return to our love for God, through which we can pierce through the cloud...
  • Sermon Starters (Easter 6A)(2020)

    by Stan Mast
    Several years ago, three Christians were arrested for handing out selections of the Gospel of John outside a Muslim festival in Dearborn, MI. A US District Court had banned all groups from distributing such literature because it was deemed disrespectful of Muslims. Witnessing was tantamount to a crime, so these Christians were arrested. Thankfully, the 6th US Court of Appeals ruled in their favor. I mention this old court case because of the commentary on the case by David Harsanyi in the Denver Post. Harsanyi is an atheist, but he thinks that all of us ought to be able to do what Paul does here. “Everyone has the right to proselytize, after all, to try and convince others that their moral, religious, economic, political or ideological notions are best. Isn’t it impolite to claim that your beliefs are superior to or more practical than someone else’s? No. We claim as much every day in our elections, in books, in conversations, in blogs, in columns. Why should anyone be immune?” Respect for other religions doesn’t mean you can’t respectfully witness to them.
  • Easter 6A (2020)

    by Kate Matthews
    Scroll down the page for this resource.
  • The God in the Back Pocket

    by Jim McCrea
    •Fred Craddock was one of the most famous preachers in our lifetime and was also a respected professor of preaching at Emory University. One Sunday, he visited a small storefront church. He says that the congregation was warm and welcoming, even if their meeting place was a little shabby and worn. It wasn’t located in a wealthy area, nor one where people had an easy time in life. When the service was about to begin, a rather bedraggled choir processed in, followed by a huge lumbering man who was the preacher. He had obviously been disabled at birth, and walked in an awkward, difficult manner down the aisle to the front of the church. He struggled to maneuver his large body, and there was little that could be described as dignified in his appearance and demeanor. However, once he arrived in the front of the congregation he began to conduct worship with a strong, slow voice that cast a spell over the congregation. As Professor Craddock listened and observed, he found himself caught up in a spirit of worship that he had not experienced very often. Here, despite the limitations of the preacher, his lack of physical attractiveness, and his limited education and experience, was someone who spoke to these people of the mystery of God. In and through the worship, through the prayers and the preaching, the spirit of God was at work in that preacher and in his congregation. After the service ended, Dr. Craddock decided to stick around and ask the preacher about his background. While he was waiting, he overheard an elderly woman say to the preacher, “I wish I knew your mother. What is her name?” The preacher replied slowly and deliberately, “Her name was Grace.” Later, while Craddock was speaking with the preacher, he mentioned having seen that incident. The preacher looked at him, smiled, and said, “When I was born, my natural parents rejected me. They found this baby too horrific and difficult to cope with. “So I was put in a home and fostered for most of my childhood years. Then in adolescence I was placed with a foster family where I was encouraged to go to church. In that church I received such nurture, such love, such affirmation, and appreciation for myself, rather than condemnation for my looks, my disability, and my limitations, I discovered God, a mysterious and yet real person, [who] was my mother. In real terms I discovered my mother in the church through the spirit of God, revealing to me the love of God for me in Jesus Christ and inviting me to relate to God the Father.”...
  • Easter 6A (2020)

    by Susanna E. Metz
  • Proclamation

    by Michael Ruffin
  • Easter 6A (2020)

    by Philip Ruge-Jones
  • More Than Footnotes

    by David Russell

Resources from 2018 and 2019

Resources from 2017

  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Margaret Aymer
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Doug Bratt
    When my wife and lived in Utah I had a good friend and mentor named Marv. By God’s grace and the work of the Spirit, he could eventually turn nearly any ordinary conversation into a discussion of faith. He always told me a key to that was understanding that most men read three sections of the newspaper first: the comics, the business section and the sports section. By reading those sections first, my friend could talk to nearly any man about something that interested him. That then provided a good bridge to eventually talking with him about the Christian faith.
  • As Some of Your Poets Have Said

    by Tricia Gates Brown
  • A Word About Religion

    by Bob Cornwall
  • The Politics of Nations and Boundaries

    by Richard Davis
    I recently saw the film Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols, 2016), which narrates the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, and their protracted battle for legal recognition of their inter-racial marriage. In telling their story, the film touches lightly on the theological justifications for banning interracial marriage in the segregated states. When the Lovings appealed their 1959 conviction for violating Virginia’s miscegenation laws, Leon M. Bazile, judge of the Caroline County Circuit Court, infamously elaborated his view of their “unnatural alliance” in his judgment.
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Being a Witness for the God We Know

    by Arlette D. Benoit Joseph
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Kate Matthews
    Scroll down the page for thoughts on this passage from Acts.
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Evan McClanahan
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Lisa Michaels
  • An Altar Like That (Acts 17)

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    In the Palatine Museum in Rome is an altar bearing an inscription to that cited by Paul in Athens. The inscription begins "whether god or goddess" (si deus si dea), a phrase indicating that the deity is unknown. Often there would be a request that followed ("Whether you are a god or goddess that rules over Rome, grant us...").
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by David Rogers
  • Easter 6A (2017)

    by Beth Schlegel
  • Come and Look

    by Ragan Sutterfield
    Do you have a dog and do you walk her? Or a child? A walk with a child or a dog can be an exercise in frustration. Dogs and children don’t walk in straight paths, they meander, zig zag, go up and down, stop and start. This can be a problem if you have a destination in mind, if you want to get somewhere, but if you want to see? A walk with a dog or a child can open up whole new modes of perception. This is the truth that Alexandra Horowitz writes about in her book On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to Observation. Horowitz, a cognitive scientist by trade, takes walks with eleven experts, each one helping her to see the journey in a different way.

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