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A Zealous Man!

This month, we will immerse ourselves in the life of the Apostle Paul. The series title: Paul – Man on a Mission. There is much we can learn from this man who went from Saul to Paul, from persecutor to preacher. And we will get to know him and his mission even more during this series.


As a starting point, it is important for us to go back to a road called Damascus. It is on that road that Paul points to his moment of conversion, his rebirth into a new and glorious faith. Saul was traveling down the Damascus Road on a mission.


Saul’s mission: find and persecute those who followed Jesus, those who were of the Way. And he did his job well! He oversaw many of the stonings of Christians, including Stephen. Saul was a zealous man.


Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison. Acts 8:3


And in Acts 9 we find Saul in hot pursuit of more Christ followers.


Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Acts 9:1-2


But something happened to Saul on this trip. 


Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, 

he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight and neither ate nor drank. 

Acts 9:3-9


What happened to Saul? I’d say it was a total eclipse, a total eclipse of the heart! (thank you, Bonnie Tyler!). A total eclipse represents a moment when the moon passes directly between the sun and the earth’s orbits, blocking out the sun from earth’s view either partially or totally. For a few moments darkness will come over the earth and it will seem as though darkness has overcome the light. Paul was blinded by the light, fell down, and couldn’t see. Everything was dark to him.


But even in the darkness, there is a glimmer of hope. Saul found that glimmer in Christ. His life was forever changed! He went from persecuting Christians to preaching the Gospel of Christ. A man who was now zealous for the Lord!


And sometimes the darkness seems to overcome us. We can’t see our way out of a situation. But if you keep looking, you will see that the light was there all the time. Darkness cannot overcome the Light of Christ! 


On this Monday, April 8, we will experience another total eclipse.  Some of Missouri will be in the path of totality, but for St. Louis we will only see a partial eclipse. Just make sure you have on those ISO glasses so you don’t end up like Saul, blinded by the light!


I hope you can join us on Sunday as we begin the sermon series Paul: Man on a Mission. This week’s sermon: A Zealous Man!


Breaking Free! This Wednesday we will begin a new study, led by Pastor Linda, that will build your faith, equip, and empower you to live free and stay free – to be whole, restored, transformed and ready to impact your world with a message of hope. The book, Keys to Freedom, is an 8-week interactive journey with God to explore how we can hear from God and live the victorious lives God meant for us to live! We will have copies of the book on hand this Wednesday. We’ll share dinner together as usual at 5:45pm, and class will be from 6:30-7:30pm. 


Leadership Training for board members and NLDT, Saturday April 13, at Union Memorial UMC. Time: 10am – 1:30pm. Lunch provided.


Journeys of Paul My husband and I will be going on an educational tour of Greece from April 20-27, following some of the footsteps of Paul. So, the month of April will be dedicated to Paul’s journeys. I will preach the first two Sundays and Rev. Rocky Marlowe will preach the last two. Every Sunday in April we will highlight something about Paul, his journeys, and his teachings. And if technology serves us well, you’ll get a video from me on the road with Paul!


Vision for 2024:

A House United: 

Strong Faith, Strong Families, Strong Future!


Blessings,

Pastor Linda


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