Posts Tagged 'Saul'

Third Sunday of Easter 2016 – Acts 9:1-2

Monday, April 4, 2016

Jesus has some final words to Peter, and Saul hears Jesus speaking to him on the road to Damascus in the selections for the third Sunday of Easter.  Those passages include: Acts 9:1-6, (7-20), Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, and John 21:1-19.

Acts 9:1-2Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Persecution seems to occur all too often between people of different faiths.  Let’s begin this week with prayers for peace between all people of faith.

Creator God, give us wisdom to understand our neighbors.  Help us to see their differences as part of the creative tapestry that you have woven.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 14:1-2

Thursday, May 19, 2011 – Easter 5, Year A

John 14:1-2Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

I find it interesting that this passage is included in the lectionary readings with the stoning of Stephen when we first see Saul, later known as Paul, present at and assisting in the execution. We worship a God who can work through anyone, including those who seem least likely. Keep this in mind as you meet people today.

Prayer (adapted from another favorite choir tune from my childhood):
Loving God, open our eyes, that we may see, glimpses of truth you have for us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 7:58-60

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 – Easter 5, Year A

Acts 7:58-60Then they dragged [Stephen] out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Saul, sworn enemy of the early Christian church would become known as Apostle Paul, one of the leading writers, missionaries and thinkers shaping the early Christian church and Christian thought. If God can work through a person with such a heinous resume as Paul, imagine what God can do working through each of us?

Prayer: Wonderful God, we can often feel inadequate, but help us remember that through you we have the ability to be truly amazing. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Samuel 16:6-7

Monday, March 28, 2011 – Lent 4, Year A

As we enter the fourth week of Lent we are reminded that God can work through unlikely people, like us. Our lectionary selections include 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14 and John 9:1-41.

God has sent Samuel to Jesse to anoint God’s chosen king who will succeed Saul. Jesse’s sons will pass by Samuel and God will let Samuel know which son is his choice. Verse 6 picks up when the first son, Eliab, comes to Samuel.

1 Samuel 16:6-7When [Jesse and his sons] came, [Samuel] looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

‘Beauty is only skin deep.’ ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ ‘We are all God’s children.’ Phrases such as these can flow easily off our lips, but it can be a challenge to actually live by such words.

Prayer: Gentle God, help us to look at our neighbors as though we are looking through your eyes. AMEN.

Third Sunday of Easter, 2010 – Acts 9:17-20

Acts 9:17-20So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”

Paul suffered from a real blindness brought on, in part, by his spiritual blindness. I think most of us suffer from spiritual blindness to varying degrees at different times in our life. While most of us won’t meet Jesus in such a dramatic way in this life, my prayer is that each of us will sense God’s presence in palpable ways.

Prayer: Steadfast God, help us sense your presence as we journey on our own roads to Damascus. AMEN.

Third Sunday of Easter, 2010 – Acts 9:13-15, 17a

Acts 9:13-15, 17aBut Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord answered him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before the Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel….” So Ananias went and entered the house.

Christians owe such a debt of gratitude for the strong people of faith like Ananias. Ananias risked his life to go to Saul because the Lord asked him to do so in a vision. Is there an Ananias in your life? Is there a strong person of faith in your life to whom you can look? If so, give thanks for that person today.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the faithful people surrounding us. May our faith grow as a result of our association with them. AMEN.

Third Sunday of Easter, 2010 – Acts 9:8-9

Acts 9:8-9Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Saul encounters Jesus in a dramatic way on the road to Damascus. Most of us won’t be so fortunate. Listening for the still small voice of God requires intentionality, and yes, maybe even practice.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us hear your will for us so that we might better serve you and your children. AMEN.

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