Reflections from "Pew News"
IF YOU ARE NEW TO THIS CHURCH
OR A VISITOR
PLEASE DO MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN TO US.
Texts from the New International Version (NIV) Bible
Today’s Readings: 1 Peter 3:15-18 & Acts 17:16-34
Service Theme: "Start from Where People Are"
In Athens. While Paul’s sermon in the synagogue at Pisidian Antioch illustrates his message to the synagogues of the Jewish dispersion (13:16-41), his address to the philosophers on the Areopagus in Athens illustrates his message to pagan Gentiles. It is the same Good News but Paul has observed and listened so starts from where the people are to win over their hearts for Jesus.
Collects and Readings
25th June 2017 - 2nd Sunday after Trinity
you have taught us
that all our doings without love
are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts
that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives
is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ's sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
whose mercy never fails:
deepen our faithfulness to you
and to your living Word,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
First Reading - 1 Peter 3:15-18
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean." (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.) 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. 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. "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. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone--an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead." When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, "We want to hear you again on this subject." At that, Paul left the Council. Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
we thank you for feeding us
at the supper of your Son:
sustain us with your Spirit,
that we may serve you here on earth
until our joy is complete in heaven,
and we share in the eternal banquet
with Jesus Christ our Lord.
Readings for next week – 2 July 2017
3rd Sunday after Trinity
- 1 Corinthians 1:22-2:5
- Acts 18:1-17