Faithlife Sermons

This Holy Story: Reversal

This Holy Story (Eastertide 2019)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  20:38
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  • The story of Paul’s conversion is particularly well-known to us, in part because we know how prolific Paul is. So much of the New Testament has his voice throughout.
  • Saul/Paul was good at what he did. He seems zealous, determined, thoughtful, logical. He tells us as much throughout his letters. And he might have continued on the way he was going.
  • But then he met Jesus - the resurrected one - and was interrupted by This Holy Story.
  • This is not a story of vengeance - remember, resurrection isn’t vengeful.
  • Paul was put in reverse. His way was turned around. What does it look like? Like any other time we need to throw something in reverse.
          • Moving in a direction - Paul was looking to “bind up believers"
          • Knowing that the current direction won’t work anymore - Jesus meets Paul
          • Coming to a stop - Paul stops for three days. And it’s everything: his sight, his motion, his eating, his mission. Complete and total stop.
          • Shifting the gears - Ananias laying hands.
          • Moving in a new direction - notice that the path Saul is a totally different one - even his name is new.
  • This Holy Story - living into the resurrection - can put our lives in reverse too, but it requires us to follow the same steps.
          • We’re able to recognize the direction we’re going. This is harder than we might realize. We often move through life as unobservant passenger.
          • We might have a moment of recognition about our direction being untenable, but it can also be hard to come to a stop. We make sudden shifts in direction, but often that just leads to a whiplash or an accident.
          • Finally - sometimes we can be a bit like Ananias - a different one. We can look at those who have made changes with a certain amount of cynicism - oh, Saul? Really? But if we miss the folks who are turning their selves around, we’ll also miss the times that we have new companions on our own journeys - those who The Holy Story has changed, which can be one of the biggest nourishments on our walks - to see Sauls be turned to Pauls. Just look at the story of the fire that Holly put together and you’ll see that story written throughout.
  • So what now?
          • Some days we’re Paul, and some days we’re Ananias.
          • But where we witness The Holy Story the most is the in the moment realizing we need to stop and then stopping. That three days of prayer was significant and literally life changing for Paul. Where are the moments where we can slow, stop, be blinded from the world and be with Christ?
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