He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’” vs. 5Acts 9:4-6
Saul was a proud practicing Jew. He had studied the precepts and the commandments of the Law since his youth and believed that it gave the Jews an advantage over the other religions of the time. It was a moral code that covered every part of life; nothing was left unregulated. Worship in the temple was at the core of the faith and with their sacrifices people could win God’s favor and blessings. The system ran like a well-oiled machine and Saul was dedicated to doing what he could to protect it, even to the point of persecuting periodic heresies like the Way. Saul was an exceptionally religious man! And it never seemed to have occurred to him that there was a personal dimension to faith–until the day he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Being religious continues to be a good cover for people in our world too–religious people are respected in our communities and do their best to make sure that laws are obeyed and enforced. When they are able they will go to church and will often contribute to congregations of their choice. They are very willing to do their share. But they don’t particularly like getting close to Jesus. Because Jesus doesn’t leave us alone! He attacks our hearts with his love and before we know it we aren’t religious anymore–we’re just walking in his Way and loving as he loved. And everything changes! Just like for Saul!
Thought for the Day: Am I religious or walking in the Way?