Forward Today: A new life in Christ

Spinello Aretino, The Conversion of Saint Paul, ca. 1391–92

Dear friends in Christ,

Tomorrow the church celebrates the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle. The story of Paul’s dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ is told in the ninth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. In this moment, Paul had to reckon with his very identity. Instead of persecuting Christians, Paul would become one who built up the church.

Can you imagine how hard that must have been for Paul? The biblical narratives move too quickly to dwell on the details, but we can surmise some more of the story. Think about how humiliating it must have been for Paul to walk into rooms full of Christians, people who must have feared and mistrusted him at first. Consider how his fellow believers had to set aside their skepticism and make room for the possibility that God had worked in Paul’s life to change him completely.

It’s never easy to make big changes. It never has been, and it’s true to this day. Lord knows, I know it’s not easy to make big changes in my own life! But that is exactly what we are called to do.

We have to be ready to set aside the things and ways that are familiar to us. In the Bible, the heavenly messengers never appear and affirm the status quo. Jesus never encounters anyone and urges them to “keep on keepin’ on”. No, divine encounters always seem to lead to changes that would scarcely be possible without God’s intervention.

I pray that I am ready to change. And I pray that you are ready, too. Only God knows what adventures are in store for us, and we will find out only if we are willing to set aside our knowledge in favor of God’s wisdom.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

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