Daily Archives: July 25, 2014

Psalms 44-46; Acts 25

I want to make Paul into some kind of super hero and believe that outside our faith in Jesus Christ, we share very little in common.  If I follow that logic, then I am not responsible to live as Paul did. He was a radical who according to the worldly powers, didn’t know his place. If he would have just kept quiet, they would have left him alone. But he didn’t and he wouldn’t go away.

It was a simple little note on Acts 23:5  that changed my mind about Paul and I. Paul failed to recognize that it was the High Priest addressing him; the commentary indicated that it was widely believed that Paul had poor vision. I understand how it feels to be terribly nearsighted; I have been most of my life. It’s been a significant limitation at times.  So Paul was a frail human being with strengths and weaknesses like me.  So how did he get up everyday and face such physical, emotional and spiritual opposition?

As I meditated on the story of Paul’s beatings, imprisonment and trials in Jerusalem, I had this mental picture of Jesus standing by Paul…Jesus behind Paul as he stood before the violent crowd, Jesus shoulder to shoulder with Paul as he faced the Sanhedrin, Jesus right by Paul as he stood trial. No matter who or what Paul faced, he would not deny the one who would never leave him, Jesus. The same is true for me. Paul’s strength wasn’t found in the force of his personality (although that probably helped); it was found in Jesus- the one who would never leave or turn away from him. Suddenly, Saint Patrick’s prayer makes sense and becomes mine:

Christ be beside me, Christ be before me,  Christ be behind me, King of my heart;                                                        Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.   

Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, Christ all around me, shield in the strife.                                                    Christ in my sleeping Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising, light of my life.

Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me, King of my heart;                                                        Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.

Saint Patrick’s Breastplate

                                                                                                                                                    

klueh

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