Monday, July 7, 2008

Reflections on Paul in Acts

As I continue my reflection on Paul in the Acts of the Apostles, I come to Chapter 26, where two things have given me pause . . .

In Verse 20, Paul tells us in no uncertain terms what he has been doing:

" . . . I preached the need to repent and turn to God, and to do works giving evidence of repentance."

How many of us follow Paul's words today? Do we take seriously our need to repent (to be sorry), to turn to God, and then to make reparation through our actions?

When you have gossiped, hurt or otherwise been uncharitable, have you renounced it and asked God for forgiveness? Have you then tried to fix the damage done, even if it makes you embarrassed 0r uncomfortable?

Another way to look at this passage is a personal call to responsibility. Do you, like Paul, express the need for repentance when it is called for, or do you dismiss or laugh off others' inappropriate jokes, racist or disparaging remarks?

Secondly, I was struck by Verse 26:

Paul says, "The king knows about these matters and to him I speak boldly, for I cannot believe that [any] of this has escaped his notice; this was not done in a corner."

That last part, stood out as I was reading this passage where Paul goes before King Agrippa to testify on his own behalf about the charges brought against him.

I learned that this is a Greek proverb and may express the understanding that Christianity has not been hidden; it has been carried out in public where all can see it.

A good reminder to us that the Good News of Jesus cannot be "done in a corner!"

As always, I welcome your comments.

God bless,

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