Acts 17:22-31: Searching, Groping, & Finding God

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[Reflections on the Lectionary Reading for May 29, 2011]

Paul sums up God’s purpose in creation in a single sentence. According to Paul’s sermon in the seventeenth chapter of Acts, God made us and set each of us into our allotted places within creation so that we would search, grope and find God. Creation surrounds us in order for us to be in the right situation that God has designed for us to eventually find God.

What is the situation in which you find yourself within creation? Do you consider yourself fortunate to be living in “modern” times? Do you praise God for the blessing of having been born where you were born? Are you thankful for all of the privileges that you have enjoyed based on your allotted place in creation?

Paul contrasts God to other things that humans worship. God is not like “gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals” (Acts 17:29, NRSV). But those are the things that we find ourselves surrounded by in our allotted place in the world. And those are the things that misdirect us in our search for God. We grope not for God but for gold and silver. But such things are counterfeits, and such things cannot satisfy the longing that God created in our hearts.

God has put us all into the right situations in order for us to search for God. Those situations present many counterfeits for us to consider.  We might first go through a period of groping, but we can eventually find God, and finding God is our purpose here on earth.

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