Yesterday was Easter Sunday in the Christian Calendar. As I was on Facebook yesterday, I saw various expressions of the meaning of Easter. For some people, Easter was celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For others, Easter was a time of puppies, rabbits, and dyed eggs.
St. Paul went to Athens to bring the Gospel. He preached a sermon to the leaders of the community. Here is part of his sermon,
“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" (Acts 17:29-31).
If St. Paul were on Facebook yesterday and evaluating the spirituality of our world in the 21st Century, I wonder if he would rewrite this part of his message to: Therefore since we are God’s creation, we should not think that the divine being is like a bunny, or a colored egg or a puppy – an image created out of human imagination. In the past God overlooked such foolishness, but now he command all people everywhere to change their thinking.”
Why should we tell God we are sorry about our misguided view of him? God is going to bring all of us before the Christ to judge us. How do we know that Christ be the final arbiter of right and wrong? Jesus the Christ was appointed God by the resurrection. The early Church believed that the resurrection proved that Jesus of Nazareth was the Lord of life and death. As the Lord of life and death, Jesus was supreme ruler of the world.
Remember the original audience for Paul’s speech is the people who thought they ruled their world: they believed they were supreme in their universe. The resurrected Lord is challenging their idea of who runs the world.
Do you think you run your world? Be careful how you answer. Remember we all have a powerful imagination: have you and I created a god in our imagination? Some day you and I will have to stand before the risen Lord to be judged for our thoughts on God.