January 25, 2015

Conversion of St Paul 2015

Preacher: Fr Christopher Snook | Series: Pre-Lent, Rector

This morning we are celebrating the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle. Christmas was precisely one month ago, and in St Paul’s conversion and subsequent ministry we celebrate the proclamation of the Christmas mystery to all people, that in Jesus of Nazareth, God is with us. In him, as we say daily at morning and evening prayer during these weeks after Epiphany, the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord. Paul’s missionary journeys are at the heart of the Church’s growth in its early decades; but just as importantly, so too is the story of his conversion. Indeed, his conversion on the road to Damascus has in many ways become the model for conversions throughout history, for Paul is converted by a light that makes evident his blindness of heart, a light that eventually makes it possible for him to see the world clearly not from his own perspective, but from the perspective of the Risen Lord. St Augustine’s conversion, Dante’s glimpse of light in the dark woods of his life, Martin Luther’s protest – all will agree that to be converted is to see the Light, a light (as we have read) above the brightness of the sun. The pattern is summed up in the famous 19th C hymn: “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.” …

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