Reading: Acts 9: 1-9
Saul had quite the dramatic encounter with the risen Jesus. Ever since Jesus’ death and resurrection, Saul had been persecuting and often killing followers of “the Way” – those who followed Jesus and His teachings. ‘Zealous’ is the word often used to describe Saul’s pursuit of Christians. The mention of his name brought fear and caused Christians to slip into the shadows and to go into hiding. Saul was one who needed a dramatic encounter with the Light.
In our lives, we often have encounters with the truth and light as well. In general they are nothing like Saul’s – but at times they can be. For the most part, our encounters come as gentle nudges and soft whispers as we are guided back to the path God calls us to and away from the path of the world. On occasion the nudge is more like a shove as we strayed a little too far away and something stronger is needed to bring our life back into alignment with Christ’s desires for us.
For some the encounter is much like Saul’s. We have been wandering far and wide and God must also bring us to our knees. It usually comes in the form of hitting rock bottom. It comes at the end of a long road of addiction or a trail of dishonesty and lies that leaves us wondering how in the world we ended up ‘here’. One little step after one little step has added up to a journey into the wilderness. Amazing thing about God though – He can call us back just as quickly from a long detour as He can from a temptation to a much lesser evil.
The great gift is a love from God that never ends, a mercy that never stops, and a grace that always is given. Saul became Paul and we too will always be rescued, always brought back into a righteous relationship with Him. No matter where we are or who we are, God wants to use us just like Paul – to go forth and share the good news of Jesus Christ with others on their own detours. Only one way leads to eternal life. May we share this news today!!