Today the church celebrates the Conversion of Saint Paul. On this day, we remember how Saul, who devoted his life to persecuting followers of Jesus, converted and became Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
Think of the courage that must have taken for Paul. He had to admit that everything he had previously stood for was wrong. He had to be willing to start over with a whole new focus and purpose in his life. He had to spend time around people who probably didn't trust him at first, with very good reason. He had to go from being among the powerful agents of the empire to being among those who would be vulnerable to persecution or arrest.
It's good to remember that the point of this Christian life is conversion. The Gospel invites us all, constantly, to amend our ways. We are invited to admit that our familiar, comfortable ways are not Jesus' ways. We will be asked to admit that we were wrong - again and again - and to start over. It's incredibly counter-cultural in a world which urges us all to resist admitting error or to acknowledge that we don't have all the answers.
So on this day when we give thanks for Saint Paul's conversion and his witness, let us all think about how we might need to be converted. What do you need to stop doing for the sake of the Gospel? What does the Gospel demand that you begin? How can we all move from comfort and familiarity to welcome the inherent uncertainty and danger of the Gospel life?
Our world needs brave witnesses of Christ's love. May you and I have the grace and courage to answer the invitation of Jesus Christ.
In a world often defined by differences, Christians are called to be reconciled reconcilers. Inspired by the indaba process of deep listening and seeking common ground, this book shares stories of profound reconciliation from around the Anglican Communion. With a foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury.Learn more
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