Recently I was going through some old journals as Allyssa and I de-clutter our house. I found something I wrote, that eventually ended up in a sermon. It got me thinking quite a bit, and so I wanted to share it with you all.
It was a reflection on Acts 14:11-12
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in their local dialect, “These men are gods in human form!” They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker.
Here’s what I wrote at the time:
In the Lystra reaction to the signs and wonders of Paul and Barnabas, we see what we often see: when something happens—something that might cause wonder—we immediately interpret it in light of our current worldview. So while you might disagree with their assessment and think it ridiculous, it wasn’t ridiculous. It was only natural given their worldview.
A magician would assume the man had been planted in the crowd.
A cynic might argue the man wasn’t really hurt to begin with.
A literary critic might look at this as a fairy tale or fable because it’s clearly impossible.
And I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong… I just want you to pause and reflect: the way you interpret things that are wonderful—things awe-inspiring—can tell you an awful lot about your worldview.
To be honest, the older I get the more cynical I become. So this passage challenges me: what does that say about my worldview? Is there room in my worldview for a God who can interrupt this natural world and things that are truly awe-inspiring?