Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for a peace at this time.
Acts 9:1-9 (NRSV)
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Have you ever heard someone say, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere?” If Saul’s experience on the Damascus Road tells us anything, it’s at least that one’s convictions—even pious and sincere ones—can be wrong. Saul was a devout person when he left Jerusalem for Damascus. He was religious to the core, a man of relentless determination in defense of his doctrine—but he was wrong.
Thinking he was on a mission from God, Saul sought to round up followers of The Way. This new sect believed the crucified Jesus had been raised from death and was the Messiah. Saul and other religious leaders felt that this sect was dangerous and had to be stopped. But as he traveled on that road from Jerusalem to Damascus, life changed for Saul. A light from heaven flashed and he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
We can imagine that Saul at first did not know what was happening. But when he asked who was addressing him, the risen Christ spoke: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Suddenly Saul saw his own actions and motives in the light of that dazzling revelation from heaven. It changed him forever.
O Lord, though we may not have had such a dramatic conversion as Saul’s, we do know what it is to experience your life-transforming grace and power. We pray that as Saul was re-directed with a new sense of purpose in his life that we, too, may live more faithfully in you, the risen Christ, each day. Amen.
Go with God.