1 Kings 12:20‐13:34; Acts 9:26‐43; Psalm 132:1‐18; Proverb 17:6
Our Gifts and the Kingdom
Saul was a man brutal in his zeal and conviction for truth. When he found real and everlasting truth in Christ, he was no doubt transformed, but one could argue that he also stayed the same in many of the ways that mattered. What changed for Saul was his mission. Though transformed, he went on with his work, retaining the same gifts bestowed on him by God in his zeal and conviction for truth.
Even in the face of skepticism, fear, and trepidation, with his life put at risk from the Hellenistic Jews in Jerusalem as seen in Acts 9, Saul (now Paul) pressed on in spite of his history with believers so that he remained true to what he was called to do as a believer.
Who could blame the Jews? This was the man who sought out and actively put believers in prison. Having them hunted down, persecuted, tortured, and killed in the name of “truth.” The early Church literally had to scatter in Saul’s wake, for his reputation had no doubt preceded him wherever he went. This is who God chose to evangelize? How can this be? Yet it was this man, whose letters we continue to read today and draw from, to underscore our own beliefs of what it means to believe in Christ.
What we can learn from Paul is that our mission, like his, is found in our reaching out to others. We even reach out those who may know our faults and our flaws, those who may hate and persecute us, as all of our doubts and fears are secondary to the importance of reaching them. Like Paul, we are being asked to trust in the gifts that we have been given, so that by and through these gifts, we may bring others to the way, the truth and the life that is Christ.
The Rev. Din Bissoondial – Deacon
St. Peter the Fisherman