Wednesday of the Week of Easter 6

Acts 17.15,22—18.1; Psalm 148; John 16.12-15

“What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?” asked Tertullian, the second-century Bishop of Carthage.  His contention was that spirituality is entirely separate from the material world.  He argued that Christians could not participate in the military, in politics, or in commerce.

Paul arrived alone in Athens, the city of philosophy. For Paul, though, “His whole soul was revolted at the sight of a city given over to idolatry” and in the marketplace he debated with Epicurean and Stoic philosophers.

Paul’s argument was that the material world and the spiritual world are not separate but joined. The eternal Creator of the world and everything in it had raised Jesus from the dead.  The material world exists within the spiritual world, not aside from it.  Paul’s argument won no adherents that day; his speech was greeted with derision.  Many people, Christians included, prefer still to live in one compartment or the other.  But we are called to love God and to love the world he made, to work and to pray for the cities in which we live
[Jeremiah 29.7] as well as for the City to which we aspire. [Psalm 122.6]

Posted in Daily Reflection.