A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Sunday, May 01, 2022

A Tale of Two Men... and of Us

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:10-16)

In Acts chapter nine two men are, in a sense, awakened from the slumbering routine of their day in a startling way. Saul, public enemy number one, as far as the church is concerned, is traveling on the Damascus Road. He has orders from the religious authorities in Jerusalem to round up as many Jewish Christians as he can find in Damascus in order to bring them back to Jerusalem, presumably to stand trial for their newly found faith in Jesus, which as far as Saul, was concerned, was a blatant rejection of the ancestral traditions and a perversion of the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Saul had overseen the stoning of Stephen, a convert to Christianity, in Jerusalem, and now he was headed north, where it appeared that Christianity had made solid inroads in the Jewish community there.

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