Today we read my favorite lectionary text from the Acts of the Apostles: (Acts 17:15->) when Paul stood in front of the people of Athens to proclaim his faith in Jesus. It’s a stirring text and brave at the time when Christians were few and far between. The most “gutsy” sentence of all was the proclamation that…”he is not far from any one of us. For ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’“
I just think of Paul standing up in this large outside amphitheater with no microphone or any other apparatus—only his voice to convince his listeners that Jesus is more than just a gifted preacher. If the opportunity presents itself, why not go outside, stand up tall, take a deep breath and boom out the sentence quoted above. How believable is your statement? Can you imagine speaking that way if there was a crowd listening to you? Think about it.
Today’s brief reflection from the Daily Devotional “Living Faith” has this to say about that situation:
“It’s hard, and risky, to speak of faith to others. We don’t want to offend or be laughed at; we’re afraid of being unable to explain ourselves, getting muddled or misrepresenting our faith. Yet it remains true that we know about the resurrection from the dead because someone took the risk to tell us. And they knew because the women and men who beheld the risen Jesus told others, and the word has been passed on year after year over twenty-one centuries. We may find, like Paul and the Athenians, that one person’s openness to speak is met by another’s openness to hear….” (Mary Marrocco)