Reading for July 16, 2017: Acts 14:8-18
– Paul’s missionary work gets off to a rough start when he and Barnabas are mistaken for Greek gods!
– Who was Barnabas? Like all early Christians, he was Jewish. He was renamed from Joseph to Barnabas, “son of encouragement” (Acts 4:36-37). He recruited Saul (aka Paul) to help him preach in Antioch (Acts 11:19-26). He was sent off with Paul to travel and preach (Acts 13:1-3) and splits from Paul later (Acts 15:36-41).
– Who are Zeus and Hermes? They were mythological Greek gods; Zeus is king of all the other gods, while Hermes is the gods’ messenger. The writer Ovid told a story of Zeus and Hermes disguising themselves as humans to pass judgment, work miracles, and grant wishes.
– Have you ever had a misunderstanding because of a language barrier?
– “The gods have come down to us in human form” — ironically, that’s the message of the gospel, that God took on human form in Jesus!
– The Greeks connect Paul with their own gods. Paul starts with creation to explain his God. Where do we find connections between Christianity and other faiths? How do we understand them?
Listen to the improv sermon based on this story & the congregation’s questions: