#22: Paul Speaks to the Crowd

Acts 22:6-16

“About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
“‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
“A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
“Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

Paul has returned to Jerusalem and been arrested in the Temple. Just before being carted off to be put on trial he stands on the Temple steps to address the crowd. He tells them of his remarkable conversion from persecutor to proclaimer of the Christian message. Then he tells them about his great ‘seeing the light experience’. A big part of this experience is the task to which he is called. ‘Everything that has been assigned to you to do’. Whenever we ‘see the light’ and hear his voice we should always see something of the task he is giving to us.

Lord Jesus,
Help me to be a little bit like Paul.
Stop me in my tracks,
Ask questions about the way I live my life.
Shine your light,
Speak into my ears,
Touch my heart,
And, yes, assign me a task.