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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for August 17, 2019

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. You can also listen to the Forward Day by Day podcast anywhere you find podcasts!

SATURDAY, August 17

Acts 22:19-20 And I said, “Lord, they themselves know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And while the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing by, approving and keeping the coats of those who killed him.”

Paul is a problematic character. Many people of faith, biblical scholars, and even casual Bible readers have a hard time with him and some of the teachings ascribed to him.

But never mind that. We may argue about the Apostle Paul but what do we do with Saul of Tarsus? There’s not much debate: Saul was a terrible, awful, mean person. In his self-defense testimony at Jerusalem, even Paul himself uses some gangster-level language to describe his past.

It is a great mystery and a deep mercy that God’s purpose can be worked out by angry, spiteful, mean people. It is a precious gift of the incarnation of God in the human being Jesus Christ that all humanity is redeemed. All of it—and all of us.

MOVING FORWARD: Write Paul a letter and tell him what you think and how you feel about his ministry.

PRAY for the Diocese of Saldanha Bay (Southern Africa)

Ps 107:33-43, 108:1-6(7-13) * 33 | 2 Samuel 16:1-23 | Acts 22:17-29 | Mark 11:1-11

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