Last weekend a group of protestors picketed my church.
The group in question is famous (infamous?) for protesting churches and other events. I wrote a short blog post about it and tweeted on the topic a few times. One particular comment I received stuck out to me.
A guy named Brandon asked me:
“Do you ever wonder is Saul of Tarsis would be among them? Maybe they will see a blinding light in the way home.”
Wow, when you think about that, he raises an interesting point.
The protestors seem peaceful compared to Saul (Paul.)
The protestors ask authorities for permits to march. Saul asked authorities for arrest warrants.
They yell hateful slogans. Saul yelled murderous threats.
They give approval to protesting. Saul gave approval to stoning.
They persecute with words. Saul persecuted with death.
You can certainly argue that Saul might not have joined the protestors at my church for a thousand different reasons, but there’s one thing we can all agree on – modern protestors have nothing on Saul.
And yet, Saul becomes Paul. Saul becomes the greatest missionary our faith has ever known. Saul becomes the one standing before the authorities saying, “I know this whole thing sounds crazy, and I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. My persecution against followers of the Way was an obsession! But what am I supposed to do? I can’t be disobedient to this. It’s real!”
The story of Saul becoming Paul doesn’t make sense. It’s as crazy as one of the protestors throwing down their horrible sign that says, “God hates you!” and becoming an associate pastor at our church.
It’s wildly illogical, unless …God is crazy about redemption.
Unless God delights in showing you how radically an experience with him can change a person.
Unless nothing is impossible with him.
That’s the God I serve.
And thanks to Brandon, it’s the God I’ll see next time I see a protestor.