- Last Updated: Sunday, 10 April 2016 10:32
- Written by All Saints Admin
- 10 Apr
A Testament to the power of the resurrection
Paul is seen as a controversial figure by some. He is often quoted by those who wish to justify some rather unpalatable views, and those who quote him often forget that Paul is at heart a pragmatist who responds to the pastoral and missional issues that were facing the church the at that time.
We no longer have an issue with those who wish to force us to be circumcised. There are no pastoral issues regarding women covering their heads in worship and female leadership is not seen as being strange. In his letters Paul writes clearly on these issues and yet he circumcises Timothy; he cites a woman as a fellow apostle; treats Priscilla as an elder and in Athens quotes from Greek philosophy instead of the bible. Peter found him too difficult to understand and he appears to be constructing his own martyrdom. He is an enigma, but like us all he is a human being making sense of his encounter with the Risen Jesus.
Paul’s encounter with the Risen Jesus produced a radical shift within Paul. The same passionate man who went to persecute the church, is now a man passionate for Jesus and the good news. His passion gets him into trouble: he takes risks; he encounters hardship; he even rejects all that made him a successful Jew. Why? Because he encounters the Risen Jesus! Paul is testament to the power that the resurrection can have in our lives. God gave his all in Jesus and so Paul offers his all to him in return.
Too often we use our faith as a spiritual duvet, we want comfort and a barrier between us and a world that often leaves us baffled. Without knowing it we construct boundaries that protects the investment we made in the church and these boundaries often stop others from belonging and participating. Paul would have considered those things as rubbish compared with his experience of knowing Jesus and the power of the resurrection. He had to let go, in order to hold on to that which is important.
This Easter will you allow the risen Jesus to change you? And we approach Pentecost will you take the risk of allowing the Holy Spirit to carry you on strange winds to strange and wondrous places.
He is alive!