“I feel God when I play soccer, when I am in a zone, playing well and not even trying. Like the game is just flowing to me.”
So said one of my son’s best friends as we drove on a long road trip to my son’s wedding. With my son he had been co-captain of their high school soccer team. The team had done pretty well, beating the number one seed in the state tournament, a team they had never beaten, one with a couple of All-Americans.
This friend was not “religious” although he did believe in God, but wasn’t sure how God was relevant to his life. He had been confirmed in the church his family attended when he was growing up.
Like many people he had an appreciation of the gifts of God in life, like the health and skill to excel at soccer. But, the life he was pursuing now seemed bigger and more real than anything he had experienced in church.
John Stott has suggested that most people do not reject the Gospel of Jesus because they think it is false. They reject it because it seems trivial. Not big enough to matter.
This Sunday at the GatheringChurch we encounter the story of the Apostle Paul in Athens, the intellectual capital of the ancient world, the home of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. It is found in Acts 17:15-34.
He is invited to speak before the Council of philosophers. What he says has become a model of engaging a culture with the challenge of a bold and urgent faith.
After touring the city and studying their history Paul is troubled by the thought of people wasting their lives not knowing the one “in whom they move and have their being.”
How can we see life and culture like Paul did?
How can we have such a big view of God that life is elevated above the little pursuits that make us feel so shallow?
How can we see what points to God in our culture?
What can we learn in Athens?