Day 15 - Call
Day 15 - listen here
Acts 9: 3-5
Now as he journeyed, he happened to be drawing near to Damascus. Suddenly a bright light from heaven shone about him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saoul, Saoul, why are you persecuting me?’ He said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He [said], ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goad.’ And in fear and trembling he said, ‘Lord, what do you want me to do?’ But the Lord said to him, ‘… up you get, and go into the city, and it will be told you what you must do.’
Driven by a persecutory zeal, Saul the Pharisee believed that he was acting for God. He was no religious crazy. It was the small and dangerous sect of the Christians who were defying the Scriptures, the traditions and the legitimate religious authorities by sacrilegiously dividing God and divinizing a recently executed man.
Then that dead and buried man spoke to Saul from the sky as the living Lord of Heaven. Jesus the Lord revealed himself as present, moreover, in the very members of that despised sect whom Saul had sworn to destroy. The heretics turned out to be the orthodox, the sect turned out to be the Church – and Saul became Paul, the most tireless apostle of the Christian faith.
Has God ever revealed himself to us in a way so startling and new that our world turned upside down? It could be the revelation that God is real. It could be a conversion from some kind of sin. But in Saul’s case, it was not disbelief or disregard but a very respectable form of religion that masked the true face of God. Which parts of our respectable Christian faith continue to mask the face of Christ?
I halt on my road and look up. I thought I knew who you were . . . but now I’m not so sure. I feel a salutary shock. I wonder in what ways I made an idol and called it by your name.
Shine your light. Reveal yourself to me. Show me especially how you are present in the outcast and despised – those that my class, race, nation and religion shuns.
I want to know who you truly are, even if you show yourself in the last place I would look.