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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for May 13, 2018

We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page.

SUNDAY, May 13     7 Easter

Acts 22:6-7 While I was on my way and approaching Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shown about me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

There are many layers to the scene we read today. On one level, Paul is telling the story of how Jesus calls out to him, asking Saul/Paul why he is persecuting the people of the Way. But on another level, Paul is telling this story as his defense against the angry mob. He may be indirectly asking the crowd the very same question: Why are you persecuting me?

Why, indeed.

Paul is ultimately transformed by the very people he sought to annihilate—these followers of the Way embrace and encourage him in his transformation without shaming him or constantly reminding him of how rotten he used to be. So many times when we feel challenged or called out about bad behavior—and are asked to do or be a new thing—we feel shame. And shame frequently manifests as anger. I wonder whether it’s the possibility of being transformed into something new that lies at the heart of the crowd’s anger.

MOVING FORWARD: Have you ever reacted poorly at the opportunity to change? How did this response change your journey?

Good Book Club Reading: Acts 21:27—22:29

PRAY for the Diocese of Madras (India)

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