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The Conversion of Saul, Acts 9:1-19a

The Gift of Sight

Last week there was a documentary on TLC called, "This Is Life Live," which followed the stories of people approaching life-changing events. TLC then broadcast their events live. In one story, a single mother of three who had lost her sight at the age of 13 had the opportunity to wear e-glasses, an electronic pair that would allow her to see. Her story was heartbreaking, and what struck me the most was how disconnected she felt from the world around her because she was unable to see. She missed out on reading to her kids, driving them to their activities, and she longed to see their faces for the first time. Her moment was heart-warming, as she saw her beautiful children and imagined how much she would be able to enjoy with them now that she could see.

What strikes me about Saul/Paul's story is that he was blind to the truth while he was able to see. It was not until he was physically blind that his in-sight connected him with the truth and the community of the truth. When his physical sight returned, he saw the world in a completely new way. Fear became confidence, anger became peace, and hatred turned to love. Sometimes we need to lose our sight in order to see the world in a brand new way.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 9:1-19a

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.