Scripture base: Acts 9:1-23, 1 Cor. 11:23-26
You are in a chariot – going from Jerusalem to Damascus
You have with you letters authority from the chief priests in Jerusalem to the leaders of the synagogue in Damascus denouncing followers of Christ for blasphemy and ordering their punishment – execution by stoning
It’s hot and you’re in a hurry – going fast – the road is full of dust
You are full of anger against Jesus
Because he threatens your life as you know it – turning it all upside down
What is it that annoys you about the Christians?
What is it that makes you angry about Jesus?
Your horse is spooked, skittish, something is wrong
There is a blinding light
Your horse rears up – its hooves thrashing the air
You are thrown to the ground
Your head strikes a rock
Your head is pounding
You feel helpless – alone – terrified
You wonder are you dying or are you already dead?
Through the pounding in your head you begin to discern a voice
A voice is calling to you
It is calling your name – Saul … Saul … Saul…
Why are you persecuting me?
You raise your head and see a figure
How does he look to you?
How does he look at you?
What is the message in his eyes?
And how do you feel?
He raises his arms out towards you and says to you:
“Know that I who have died am alive”
“This is my body broken for you”
“This is my blood shed for you”
“Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, remember me”
And how do you respond?
The light dims and the figure becomes harder to see
You realise that all is dark
You realise that you are blind
You realise that though you are blind for the first time you can see
What can you now see?
A man comes and picks you up,
strong unknown hands are lifting you up and supporting you
he leads you to a place of safety,
and lays you down to rest.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
Delivered by Chris Hancock as part of a Sermon on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, 25th January, 2015.