When our dreams, like those of Jacob, lie shattered in pieces, this story reminds us that God’s dream never dies. Though the stage on which we live may look like anarchy to our eyes, the Director in the wings continues to send new actors onto the stage; continues to lead the action with a subtle hand, to edit our script toward the promised end of a new heaven and a new earth.
The wisdom of the story of Paul preaching in Athens is that the prevalence of idols in a culture is not an indication that God is no longer needed. It indicates the opposite—that the culture is desperately seeking what God offers—good news, the bold and provocative message that Jesus rose from the dead and so will we.
This moment will not last forever. We will get back together physically when it is safe to do so, but we will not be the same. We will, like the resurrected Jesus, still bear the scars of this wilderness journey.