Day 32 Sacred Season

Day 32 Sacred Season

day32DAY 32.  10th July   Met by fire  – Saul’s conversion  : Acts 26:12-18   

Rev Dr Dean Drayton

About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me   (Acts 26:13-14 NIV)

 Basis of Union Paragraph 4: Through human witness in word and action, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ reaches out to command people’s attention and awaken faith; he calls people into the fellowship of his sufferings, to be the disciples of a crucifi ed Lord; in his own strange way Christ constitutes, rules and renews them as his Church.

 The group on the road to Damascus stop, shocked by an unexpected happening in each of the three accounts Acts has Paul’s conversion.  “I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my companions.” “About noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me”. “a light from heaven flashed around him”  He hears “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me.” Paul’s startled question “Who are you Lord?”, bring the words that Paul could never forget, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”.

 In Gal 1:12 he says the gospel he received was not of human origin, but received as an apocalypse of Jesus Christ. Apocalypse is the Greek word used.  Translating this as a revelation as is normally done is inadequate for what Paul is describing here.   Heaven is opened to him with a light that is brighter than the sun.  All the others see the light, but only Paul hears the voice.  Only Paul is blinded, his companions are not.

 Last Anzac Day a researcher of the exploding fireball meteor over Chelyabinsk Russia in 2013 claimed that a meteor was the light that Paul saw, three times as bright as the sun, the intensity of which blinded him.  It had to happen.  If it was not a psychological experience then sooner or later what happened would be explained away by science.  In fact only Paul was blinded.

 No, Paul did not confuse a meteor with the appearance of Jesus.  It was this apocalypse of Jesus Christ that imploded in upon him and his life that is the key event.  His life forever after revolved around this crucified Lord.  

Paul was blinded so that he could see.  It is Jesus that led him to subvert the Roman Empire with grace, and shape the future of Europe and the world.

 Here as the Basis of Union puts it, “Christ reaches out to command people’s attention and awaken faith; he calls people into the fellowship of his sufferings, to be disciples of a crucified Lord; in his own strange way Christ constitutes, rule and renews them as his Church.”

 In what strange ways can Christ renew us as his Church in and through this Assembly?   In Christ heaven is opened to us.  The light here is overwhelming.   As 1 John 1:5 puts it, “this is the message we heard from him and declare to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness.”   It is not so much a Damascus Road experience we want, but the overwhelming presence of the power of light and fire in our midst.

 Prayer     You O Lord are the Light of the world.  Let your light be so bright for us, that with the fire of the Holy Spirit, we may see anew together, and be empowered to move beyond the limits we place on ourselves and your Church.  Come to us in strange ways so that we may know that this is you, and not just words, O Word of God.  Amen.

 

Pray for:  Unitingworld partner –  The church of South India .  Pray for work of Uniting Prayer and Fasting and the prayer rally today at Nedlands Uniting, and through the week. .