I must admit when I saw the passage I had been asked to reflect on, the conversion of Paul from Acts, my heart sank! I am sure there is many a Christian who can clearly relate to this passage, I am certain there is many a person who has had the lightning bolt from the sky, clear words of God conversation. I am sure by now you have worked out I am not one of these! I came to Christ as a tween, brought up in chapel all my life, for me it was a gradual almost natural passage into the faith.
So I re-read the passage several times!
I have always very much looked and viewed this passage from the point of Paul. For many like me, we may find this hard to relate to, but what about the other angels in the story? What about the crowd who are listening to Paul? What about the other Jews? What about the persecuted Christians? What about the people who are now going to be serving alongside Paul?
In my role within East Cleveland I often get this challenge, people wanting to serve, who don’t have the church background I have been exposed to. Having the faith and love that God is working through them is a challenge, having the trust that they are a vessel for the message, is hard. This isn’t to discount safeguarding aspects, but to trust that those who were once the enemy can be used for the mission of the church – and don’t tell anyone – but they might be even more effective or gifted than you are! So next time a ‘Paul’ turns up what are you going to share?
Lord we are called to work alongside all people in Faith, help us to share the mission set with generosity, to trust, to love, to have faith.
by Emma Dacey
Cleveland & Danby Circuit
Community Development Worker in East Cleveland