By the Hand (April 19, 2013)

…Opening To…

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can… (J.R.R. Tolkein, The Lord of the Rings)

…Listening In…

During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?” (Acts 9:3-4; context)

…Filling Up…

When I began writing this week’s devotions, I didn’t realize how much of a link there is between blindness and stories that take place on roads. Here’s another one! Saul – who later becomes Paul – has been no friend to persons who “belonged to the Way.” (At this point, “Christianity” wasn’t a word yet, so Jesus’ followers were identified as those belonging to the “Way.” Remember, “way” and “road” are the same word.)

But while he is following the road to Damascus, Saul suddenly finds himself flat on his back. A blinding light flashes around him and he hears Jesus’ voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?” When Saul’s companions, who are completely unaware of the light show, pick him, Saul opens his eyes and realizes he can’t see. After this, according to Acts, “they led him by the hand to Damascus.”

This detail is truly amazing. Saul had been so certain of the rightness of his cause of persecuting those who followed the Way of Jesus. Saul had been so certain. But when he encounters Christ, his certainty vanishes. He is unable to walk for himself and needs others to guide him. And so they take him by the hand and bring him to his destination.

Sometimes, we can be so certain of where we are going that we forget to look for Christ on the road. It’s a good thing, then, that, when we fall victim to spiritual blindness, there are others around us who can take our hands and guide us on the way.

…Praying For…

Dear God, your encounter with Saul left him forever changed. Help me to recognize the changes that you have caused to happen in my life and be thankful for them. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, strengthened by your love and able to walk another day on weary feet

One thought on “By the Hand (April 19, 2013)

  1. I love how you use Tolkein in your messaging, I was a religion/philosophy double major and knew that if I ever was called to minister I would definitely use my magical sewanee education! I am in advertising and do alot of probono work so that is how I use my words to walk in the light! Love your messages!

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