Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:8-20; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21
Love and suffering seem to be the two great paths to God. Suffering gets our attention, and love shows us the nature of God. The psalmist speaks of being tested and tried as silver is tried — God put other nations over Israel to lead them through fire and water into a spacious place of blessing. The epistle speaks of the suffering that will come from following Christ and urges the people to do good works anyway — for it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. In the Gospel reading, Jesus promises the disciples that he will not leave them comfortless, but will send them the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to teach them the truth about God and Holy love. The reading from Acts does not fit this theme, but recounts the story of Paul in the Areopagus, proclaiming the God of Jesus Christ as the one the Athenians worshiped as an unknown god. Acts and the epistle also share the theme of searching and groping for God and ultimate truth.