"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Get inspired to preach more effective sermons in these trying times at the Craft of Preaching conference Oct. 5-7, featuring Joy J. Moore, Kenyatta R. Gilbert, and Jared E. Alcántara.
Acts 9:1-19a Commentary
by O. Wesley Allen Jr.
There is no story in Acts more important than Saul/Paul’s call, his encounter with the risen Christ.
Not only does the narrator tell the story of Saul’s transformation from persecutor to apostle in Acts 9, Saul himself re-tells the story twice when defending himself before persecutors (before the tribune in Jerusalem, Acts 22:1-21; and before Agrippa, Acts 26:1-23). Preachers working through the narrative lectionary with their congregations, then, will do well to explore this passage in detail in order to establish the character of Paul well for the second half of Acts (Acts 13-28; see how this role is foreshadowed in 9:15), which shifts the focus from the ministry of the Twelve in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria to his role in taking the gospel throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and even to Rome (see Acts 1:8).
There are two primary options for preaching from this text. Both are call stories. The first is to ask the congregation to identify with Saul himself. In this approach, preachers will offer their congregations a chance to relate to Saul’s epiphany as a way of meeting Christ ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL316: Paul's Conversion
April 15, 2018
Podcast on Acts 9:1-19a, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Apr. 15, 2018, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Mark Throntveit. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.