“Brother Saul…”

Acts 9:15-19

Ananias, “the messenger of yesterday,” a believer in Damascus and one of the people Saul was coming to eliminate, is sent by God to talk with Saul. Saul was blinded by the bright light when encountering God.  Saul has heard God’s voice and for three days has been praying and fasting.  I am guessing he has thought long and hard about what he has studied so diligently through the years, how he has put it together, and how he had been so wrong.

         Isaac Newton, similarly, home from Cambridge because of ann outbreak of plague, about 1765, saw an apple fall from a tree and pondered why down and not up or side-wards.  He came up with the law of gravity.  Saul has sat and pondered the events of his life for three days.  It was not an apple but a man, Ananias, who walks in and tells Saul that God has sent him and it makes a huge difference. 

         Ananias addresses Saul as “Brother Saul.”  Wow.  After pondering the errors of his ways for three days, one of the people he came to persecute addresses him as “brother.”  Saul is not by himself but is already recognized as part of a family.  We call it the family of God.

         When we realize we have been going the wrong way and have made grievous mistakes, how do we become restored?  Forgiveness may help us deal with guilt and shame but restoration to relationship is another type of healing.  Think of words that could be used to soothe your soul, e.g. “friend,” “companion,” “beloved,” or even “no big deal.”  Each has a different flavor and stirs up a different emotion.  Ananias opens conversation with Saul, “brother.”  That is a warm word full of acceptance.

         Perhaps spend a few moments pondering what term you would like to be called by someone you have offended.  How could that person show you that not only are you forgiven but you are now also in relationship?  Is there someone to whom you could offer the same grace?  I’m sure it was hard for Ananias to make that first move but the result was that scales fell off Saul’s eyes, he could see again, he was baptized, and he became a great preacher and defender of the faith.  We know nothing more about Ananias except this one deed of obedience, offering relationship to Saul.  A small act of kindness defined Ananias and defined the trajectory of Christianity and defines us!  You may never know the ripple effect of a small act of kindness.  Blessings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: