One day on my way to Damascus, armed as always with papers from the high priests authorizing my action, right in the middle of the day a blaze of light, light outshining the sun, poured out of the sky on me and my companions. Oh, King, it was so bright! We fell flat on our faces. Then I heard a voice in Hebrew: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me? Why do you insist on going against the grain?’ “I said, ‘Who are you, Master?’ The voice answered, ‘I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down like an animal. But now, up on your feet—I have a job for you. I’ve handpicked you to be a servant and witness to what’s happened today, and to what I am going to show you. ‘I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.’ Acts 26:12-18

I remember doing woodwork at school. They showed us how you can go with the grain of the wood or against it. Going against it is harder and messier and just doesn’t feel right. Here in the Message translation, God says, “Why do you insist on going against the Grain?,” to Saul. This is God. Yahweh. Jehovah. The Ancient of days. Speaking audibly to this Christian killer. Wow. God is Sovereign. When He wants someone. He gets ‘em!

Here Saul is commissioned to do God’s work. To show others who are going against the Grain, and turn them around. As God said: “’I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.”

Now nearly 2000 years later, that’s what we are also called to do. To open the eyes of outsiders. Like Evangelist Rienhard Bonnke recently said, “Any church that isn’t preaching the Gospel to the Lost, isn’t doing it’s job properly!”

One of my favourite things in life, is seeing someone who’s been going against the Grain, and they turn around, and begin real living by believing in Jesus.

Lord anoint me, Like you anointed Paul to open the eyes of outsiders to your Good News. In Jesus name. Amen.