Dad I am sorry. I am not sure why this happened. I am disappointed that I made a potentially disastrous mistake. He went on to explain his bewilderment,’ I don’t know what I did wrong.” Thankfully no one was injured and the only consequence was minor property damage..
All of us, each one of us, have experienced such moments. We made a mistake and the potential for tragedy was high. With trembling voices and expecting the worst we had to confess our lapses in judgment. It is not easy to own our errors. Will we be forgiven?
Today’s Scripture reading is the narrative concerning Saul’s journey from Jerusalem toDamascus to “arrest any followers of the Way.” (Acts 9:1-20) Saul’s threats are real and potent. He was eager to kill the Lord’s followers.
As he neared Damascus, Saul had a profound encounter with Jesus. This was an act of divine initiative. A light from heaven suddenly interrupts Saul’s journey, and a voice charges him with persecuting the Lord Himself. Saul dazed and overwhelmed by the physical phenomena, cries out, “Who are you Lord?”, the answer comes immediately, “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting.” Saul, now blind, is led into the city by his companions.
In the years following his conversion Saul expressed his remorse for persecuting Christians, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” He felt the sting of disappointment for his behavior.
Will he be forgiven?
The story takes a dramatic turn at verse 10, “Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling ‘Ananias.’ Ananias’ initial response is to say, “Yes Lord.” What is expected of Ananias is then revealed. “Go over to Straight Street…ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul.” Ananias response is understandable “But Lord…” As far as Ananias knows Saul is still a very real and formidable threat to Christians.
Good news! Ananias goes to Saul. Here are his opening words to the former instigator of mayhem, “Brother Saul… the Lord Jesus has sent me!” Saul receives his sight, is filled with the Holy Spirit, baptized and has fellowship over a meal with the very ones he sought to destroy. Forgiven? Yes!
Are you battling with disappointment over certain behaviors? Have you been misguided, mistaken, created mayhem? Repentance and reconciliation are God’s answers. Make your appeal to the Lord Jesus. He stands ready to forgive!
Rev. Harry Varn – Pastor – Winnsboro First Church of the Nazarene – Winnsboro, SC