"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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Called into Christ's Service
Acts 9:1-19 Commentary
by Mitzi J. Smith
God orchestrated a meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch on the Gaza road west of Jerusalem (8:26), and Jesus met Saul outside of Jerusalem as he approached Damascus (9:3).
Neither Saul nor the Ethiopian Eunuch met or was introduced to Jesus in Jerusalem or in the Temple precincts. God meets, calls, and transforms people wherever God chooses. God meets, calls, and transforms people in and beyond religious institutions. Jesus revealed himself to Saul and called him, while he was on a mission to murder those who believed that Jesus was God’s Messiah. The preacher might preach that God doesn’t limit God’s self-revelation to Christians; God reveals God’s self to whomever God chooses and when God chooses.
Saul had condoned the murder of Stephen (8:1-3); he made it his calling to exterminate all those belonging to “the way” (9:2). For this mission, Saul obtained the official consent of the elite religious authorities, the Chief Priests, representing the Temple and its cult, the center of Judaism. In the first century, Rome ruled and controlled the world, including the Temple, its services to a degree, and its leaders and officiates. ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 130: Called into Christ's Service
May 04, 2014
Join Profs. Eric Barreto, Cameron Howard, and Rolf Jacobson for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for May 4, 2014: Acts 9:1-19. Accompanying reading: Matthew 6:24.