The Conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus is a story that will be covered in worship in the near future. It’s a remarkable story of grace, conversion, healing, and much more. Ananias, a disciple of Jesus in the city is sent to Saul, now called Paul to minister to him but… Ananias has misgivings and we read in Acts 9: 13-19:
13 Ananias replied, “Lord, a lot of people have told me about the terrible things this man has done to your followers in Jerusalem. 14 Now the chief priests have given him the power to come here and arrest anyone who worships in your name.”
15 The Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen him to tell foreigners, kings, and the people of Israel about me. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for worshiping in my name.”
17 Ananias left and went into the house where Saul was staying. Ananias placed his hands on him and said, “Saul, the Lord Jesus has sent me. He is the same one who appeared to you along the road. He wants you to be able to see and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Suddenly something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see. He got up and was baptized. 19 Then he ate and felt much better.
As you know, we have been blessed with the beginning of a Lenten study on the topic of Imagine No Racism (INR). Beginning March 2nd, Ash Wednesday, at 3:30 on Zoom we will be led through this thought provoking and enlightening journey of discovery together. All are welcome, you do not have to be members of Christ First to take this class, it is open to all. Most of these classes are for several churches at a time, Christ First is blessed to have been offered this opportunity for individual sessions. I hope for a good crowd of people to take advantage of this class.
We have been pro-active within this monthly publication with articles, suggested readings, and background on the topic to be prepared for the actual work ahead of us. When I read verse 18 of Acts 9 I could not help but wonder, “what are the ‘fish scales’ that are keeping me from seeing clearly on these issues?” Is it the family I grew up in and their world view, my social circles and community background, or perhaps hidden privileges that I was not even aware that I had? Honest self-assessment is needed for the remediation of this sin.
This study is about more than just race issues, it also includes gender issues, sexual orientation concerns, and historical background. It is my hope that whatever “scales” we have that cloud our sense of justice and righteousness will fall from our spiritual eyes, allowing us to see as Jesus needs for us to see. May God bless our work.
In gentleness and peace,
Pastor Sue Hadley
Rev. Susan Hadley