Saturday, July 11, 2015

Continuing Conversion

Scripture Text: Acts 9:1-20

Stories that we hear about conversion often have the same feel as the conversion of Saul. The idea that someone is living a life that is in total opposition to what God is doing in our midst. Then that person has a 180 degree moment where their life becomes completely reoriented.

There is another conversion story here in Acts 9 that might not be as obvious. Ananias is a man who believes in God and is a follower of Jesus, yet there is more conversion to take place in his life. His life altering encounter with God is through going to meet with the man who has been killing the followers of Jesus.

For all we know up to this point Ananias was living a faithful life. There does not appear to be a record of killing others. We do not find him traipsing about breathing out murderous threats against anyone. Still his life and heart needed more conversion. It is not a matter of night and day conversion, it is a matter of living into the grace and call of God in greater and deeper ways. This is actually the most common conversion, not Saul's.

The day we stand before God and the gathered witnesses is a day of conversion. After that day we are no longer single we are married. After that day our lives are never the same again. Still, the conversion of marriage is not complete there in front of the pastor. The work of conversion continues as we live more deeply into the love and partnership we share with our spouse.

Great marriages can be the result of a Saul like conversion, where some event or transgression triggers a total redirection of life. More often than not, great marriages are the result of two people committed to have each day be a day of conversion. To being obedient to each other and the call of God, even when we are called to meet with people and circumstances that do not seem wise in our eyes. Cultivating a great marriage is often about being more like Ananias than Saul.

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