We have all read the story of Paul’s conversion from the perspective of the
writer of Acts. Today, even though we’re also reading from Acts, we get
Paul’s own version of his story. There are differences in these two accounts,
but the message remains the same, and it retains its drama and
excitement. It’s wonderful to see how God took someone who was so
opposed to Christ and turned him around, making him the most significant
person in the establishment of the Church. God’s grace is truly amazing!
I wonder if the reason Paul become so effective in his work was because he
discovered a place to belong like he had never known before. His life had
been all about the law and living it to perfection. But then Jesus showed
him that, even though he had harmed and persecuted Christ’s followers,
God still loved and accepted him. And one of the first things that happened
after his conversion was that he was baptized – a sign of his welcome, his
belonging to God’s family. What a liberating gift this must have been for
Confession is often viewed as something distasteful—a shameful admission
that there is nothing good in us. But confession is really about removing
anything that keeps us from God’s life. It’s dealing with our brokenness so
we can be healed. Today allow confession to liberate you. Whenever you
find yourself doing things that hurt yourself or others, just offer them to God
and invite God’s grace and welcome to fill you again.
Teach me, O God, to acknowledge and release whatever keeps me from
your grace and love.