The “Agora”

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agora n. , pl. -orae ( ) or -oras . A place of congregation, especially an ancient Greek marketplace. A gathering place; a place of assembly. The marketplace; public square.

In ancient Greek society, the central gathering place was called the agora; it was the ‘place of commerce, information, and ideas.’ At the heart of the city, good were sold, artisans interacted with others in their trade, and people gathered to debate political, philosophical, and theological matters.

Have you noticed?  Most Western countries have no place comparable to the agora. The place wasn’t the shopping mall, boardroom, fitness center, Elks Club, bar, coffee, or shop. The agora was all these places combined.

Continues Allender in The Healing Path:

“We are to go to the `streets’ (the word used in many English bibles to translate the word agora) and invite to God’s party any who will come (Matthew 22:9-10, Luke 14:23). Because there is no central agora today, we are to go wherever people hang out, conduct business, talk, eat, drink, dance, and gossip to invite others to taste the gospel.” (p. 241)

Not much to argue with here, is there? You get the idea. I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t know already. So, where is your “agora”? Where’s your passion? Where do you listen, delight, ask questions and probe the mysteries of the universe? Where do you go where you heart says, `I love it here,” and `No, I won’t let evil win. I will stand and fight the effects of the fall”? Where do you stick your neck out? Where do you serve someone unrelated to you, your church, your group, and your small world? Where do you “hang out” regularly and “invite others to taste the gospel”?

John Eldredge expounds on this theme:

Read the various urgings toward ‘church’ in the epistles, and ask yourself, ‘How could this take place in an hour on Sunday morning in a group of 500 or 5,000?  How can you pray for another, specifically?  how can you encourage one another, really?  Bear one another’s burdens?’  It can be a rich experience to worship with a large group of people, and hear the word of God taught by a gifted pastor.  But there is simply no way that the fellowship urged in the Scriptures can be expressed without involvement in a small group. …

Call it a home fellowship, friendship group, Bible study, small group, house church, whtever – you cannot live the Christian life without some close allies.  This must come first.  yes, it can be hard to find.

We’re in a battle.  A spiritual war zone.  Do we really need yet another series on The Proverbs 31 Woman or more classes on being a helpmeet?  If you’ve been following this blog for long, you know our answer to that.

We need allies .  So where do we find them?

Stay tuned.

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One Response

  1. First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

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