Geoffrey Rowell: Paul shows how faith could turn all our lives around

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Today Christians celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. It is an unusual feast, for it is not an anniversary of the death, or martyrdom, of a saint but a commemoration of a “turning around” of one of the great teachers and thinkers of the Christian world.

St Luke records in the Acts of the Apostles how Saul, the strictest of Pharisees, was journeying to Damascus to persecute and put to death Christians, the followers of a new way, which he regarded as heretical. They had to be stamped out because they were leading the people of God astray. Suddenly, on the Damascus road, a blinding light from Heaven overwhelmed Saul, the blinding light which in the Jewish tradition was the shekinah, the dazzling glory of God. He falls to the ground and asks “who are you Lord?” To which the answer comes: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” There, at the very centre of the glory of God, is the One whose followers Saul had come to Damascus to root out. Blinded and overwhelmed by this experience, Saul is led stumbling into Damascus. There, a Christian disciple, Ananias, comes in obedience to find the persecutor, and lays hands on him that Saul may receive his sight again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth

Posted January 26, 2008 at 6:05 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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