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Viewpoint from Rev Dan Waite 15/04/2016 

Dan WaiteRevd Dan Waite
Associate Vicar St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston


“Not him, Lord, that’s impossible. He could never become a Christian!”

One of the Bible passages set for today tells the story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, a strong Jewish leader who believed his life’s work was to destroy the new Christian faith which sprung out of the teaching, death on the cross, and resurrection to life of Jesus Christ. He went about the country breaking up the new Christian communities through persecution and imprisonment and death by stoning. Not satisfied with his achievements around Jerusalem, he determined to root out and destroy this Christian religious group before it grew too much in the nearest important city Damascus some 150 miles from Jerusalem

dove leftAs he got close to Damascus, “Suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do’”

When Saul got up he could not see and he was led by his companions into the city, where he prayed and fasted for three days. In the city lived a faithful Christian called Ananias. God spoke to him in a vision, telling him to go to Saul, to pray over him and give him a message. Ananias immediate reaction was to say, “Not him, Lord, that’s impossible. He could never become a Christian!”.  But when God told him that Saul had been chosen to take the message of Jesus to all the world, he went and prayed for him and Saul received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul – later to be called Paul the Apostle – immediately began delivering the message that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God

Dove rightA Damascus Road experience – a conversion of the mind - a change of heart - an ideological transformation. Saul was on his way – as he thought – for the glory of God, but he was on the wrong track and Jesus put him right

The history of the world holds a long list of men and women who lived their lives with the wrong idea about Jesus until that moment when God sovereignly broke through into their lives. “Not him, Lord, that’s impossible. He could never become a Christian!” Oh yes he or she could!

Many millions across the world every year respond to the transforming nature of the love and power of God. How about you?