Tuesday, March 24, 2020

In their own words: Day 28

1 Corinthians 15.8- 10

Last of all, as to someone untimely born, [Jesus] appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.

One of the “qualifications” to be called an apostle in the early church – literally one who was “sent out” – was that you had seen the risen Christ. Many others had had this experience before Paul, including those like Peter, who had known him well. But Paul came late to the party, and had never met Jesus “in the flesh”. Indeed, as he said, he had persecuted the Church until his experience of Jesus on the Damascus road. That encounter had been so powerful, though, that it changed his life completely.  But Paul is under no illusions about himself. He is amazed to be where he is, doing what he is, preaching the love of God, and it is all the more precious because he knows how much hatred and damage he once did.

·         We can probably all recall times when we feel we have not behaved as we should. How have they shaped you? Can you see the grace of God at work in those times, as Paul does?

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