When the Apostle Paul stood in front of the Areopagus, he began by connecting with the spirituality of the ancient Athenians, affirming their search for God and the spiritual awareness of their poets. Paul attempted to use the Athenians' spiritual language to tell about the Creator God and about Jesus and his resurrection. At the same time he discerned a spirit of idolatry which prevented repentance and practical obedience to the Holy Spirit of God (Acts 17:16-34). Trying to bridge the spiritualities of the Jewish and Greek worlds in this way, Paul faced misunderstanding and had limited immediate success in terms of new Christians - but from our standpoint two thousand years later, we can see this is a Christian city and we know how the use of Greek thought and language has contributed to the formation of Christian theology, particularly to our understanding of God the Holy Spirit. So I consider it doubly appropriate that here in Athens we pray, "Ελθέ, Πνεύμα Άγιο", "Come, Holy Spirit!"


Greek version