sneers, Acts 17

8 May

sneers: a smile or speak in a contemptuous or mocking manner.

18 ‘Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 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? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 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. 23 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.

24 “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. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 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. 27 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. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

29 “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. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 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.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead,some of them sneered, but …

dear, what is a sneer?

It is not a word, or a sigh; it is not a groan or a laugh; it is not a prayer but the expression of an attachment. An expression of inner contempt from a threaten inner attachment, from a created inner idol.

The attachment that causes a ‘sneer’ comes from my idol; what I am holding most tightly to. My family or my health; my reputation or my ideas of myself, my created man made, hand shaped self.

Most of the Athenians Paul is speaking with spend their time their times ‘talking and listening’ to their own ideas and the thoughts of others. Attachments listen, speak and will sneer at all that threaten.

What we/I spend our time on and what listen and talk about (whether internally or externally) is our attachment, our idol.

And if another seeks to displace or question this attachment, we sneer. How could another be better, any other, be worth more? I, your attachment, am you. Nothing can replace me.

Idols of the heart, attachments, are not easily removed. Yet, there is a ‘but’ …

some ‘want to hear more’

Be that ‘some’ as you move through your day; replace the idol that attaches. – renounce; then rejoice. Pray Jesus, his name and deeds; his life and love; his word and words, into your heart. With each step, pray the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

He does not ‘sneer’-he only loves.

He loves you, and places mercy on you,

On me. Us. Be the some today who desire more of His attachment, His mercy. Love.

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