Can Saul be Paul?
ACTS IN 90 DAYS
A reading for Tuesday, June 2, 2020: Acts 8:1-3.
"But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house;
dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison."
The hard part about forgiveness is our attitude towards those that need it. Saul was brutal in his persecution of the church, going door to door and dragging Christians into the street. In fact, Luke places the persecution of the church by Saul, right next to the burying of the martyr Stephen. The early church was grieving while also fighting for survival.
However... in just one chapter, Saul will be converted and will become Christianity's greatest evangelist Paul. Who could possibly imagine at this point in the story, not knowing what is coming, that Saul would become that person. Only Jesus, and Jesus will offer him another chance.
What about us? Are we in need of seeing someone in a new light? Can we imagine what forgiveness might do to change the future? What if Jesus had given up on Saul? He would never have become Paul.
Yet, just as Stephen had said, repeating what Jesus had said on the cross... Forgive them for what they are doing. Thanks be to God!