I sit with a cup of coffee, relishing the smooth Ethiopian flavors, and crack open the laptop. It’s Saturday, a treasured morning retreat, my bible and latest book sitting close by and the dryer rumbling in the background. It’s chilly today, fall in the air outside, seeping through the walls, and I pull my cardigan closer, nestling in the warmth of the woven layers. It is within this space that I listen, seeking wisdom.
(via Brianna Hand on Pinterest)
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, in his book The Awakening of Hope says that “for every new sign of hope, there is ancient wisdom to help us interpret how a new thing can be rooted in God’s old, old story.” Mornings like this, in the quietness, those profound words wash over me, taking me back to the familiar words of Paul in Acts 17.
It was there that Paul found himself briefly alone in Athens, a pagan city. They were worshippers of many idols, always searching enlightenment. Goals for peace, for ancient wisdom to bring their world to understanding led them searching, never filled. Paul watched them, mingled, listened, and then spoke, nearly brimming with the message:
“The God who made the world and everything in it is Lord of heaven and earth, and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek after him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'”
And in those words, he answered the longings of the entire search as a city. God is not something you can create or serve or come close to as a human. Far, yet moving together, a symphony of life brimming under the surface – right there, yet somehow mysteriously untouchable. This mystery is fulfilled in the ancient stories of scriptures, brought to light by the power of the cross, and lived out in quiet mornings like this, and everyday, as we move and live and have our being.
What ancient truths captivate you today?