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Larry's Lines

April 01 2020

Acts 9:1-20

Most of us are familiar with this scripture passage.  It is Saul encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus.  This has become so familiar and important to Christians for years now.  We talk about our “Damascus road experience”. It is no doubt a passage that has been formative to many of us.  It has come to mean a time when we meet God in the midst of hardship.

Some of us reading today have our own “Damascus road experience”.  I was raised in the church, served on youth councils for the conference; I was a church kid.  I made a profession of faith at Camp Wesley Pines.  I accepted a call to the ministry at 9.  I don’t remember a time when God and Jesus weren’t important in my life.

Yet, I still had some Damascus road experiences.  These were more times when I brought something on myself by my actions but God found a way to reach out and use my mistakes to bring me to a place of renewal and rededication.  For Saul, having given his life to the church and now realizing through this encounter with Jesus that all he had learned, done and trained for was proven wrong in an instant; this must have been devastating.  I wish we had a little bit more of that in the scripture.  I love that we see how bold Paul was after this moment but I think that Saul, may have spent a bit of that time with Ananias feeling like a failure.  Bishop Sharma Lewis says; “we serve a God who will grant his children a second chance at life”.

I am not only thankful that we serve a God of 2nd chances but I cling daily to that promise.  If you will give a minute of self-serving as I begin this new phase of my life without my Father, I am also thankful that I had an earthly Father who believed in 2nd chances as well.  At every one of the instances where God offered grace, my Dad welcomed me back home and loved me.

Friends, let’s thank God this morning that we serve a God of 2nd chances.  May we pray this morning and offer thanks for God, and all others, who have given us 2nd chances and continued to love us.  Amen.