Thousands of years ago there was a man named Saul. He was born and raised a Jew and for a long time he worked in opposition to the followers of Jesus Christ (breathing threats and murder against the disciples) until a time when he went through a time of darkness (literally – he was made blind) and then one day something happened that changed not only Saul’s life but the course of the early church. He listened to Jesus Christ speak to him – did what he was told – and gathered with others and learned about how his relationship with Jesus Christ could change everything. Saul became determined to bring the teachings of Jesus to the non-Jews and started calling himself by his Roman name of Paul to put those he was speaking with at ease. Paul’s conversion is from one who created havoc and suffering to one who spread the gospel and encouraged the early churches. Paul’s conversion is a clear illustration that no matter our current circumstances, we can learn to live a new way if guided by God and those who believe in God.
For many though, it takes a time of darkness to turn to God. It takes cancer or death or divorce or loss of a job to plunge us into a state where to recover we have to stop and look for a source of light. That light is always found in Jesus Christ.
Just as Paul taught our ancestors about what it means to be a Christ follower, his words live on in his letters. Some of his letters are found in the New Testament of the Bible. Find your Bible and read Romans 8:38 -39 or 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 and then keep reading and thinking about how to convert your life.
Peace, Pastor Lorah Houser Jankord, Tulare United Church