One of the challenges I have is to keep the stories of scripture fresh and exciting in my life. It is an interesting challenge. I’m glad I know them, but I don’t want to be so familiar that I am no longer in awe of the truth they convey.
I started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago while teaching Sunday School. Even some of the kids in the little class I have are pretty familiar with some of the stories. But we have a new girl in our class who has never hear the majority of these stories.
We’ve been reading stories from the book of Acts in the last month or so. Well, in Acts 8 we are introduced to one of the main characters in the book, Saul. Then in chapter 9, we learn a lot more about the guy. When we first meet Saul, he is in full support of doing whatever it takes to stop believers in Jesus from talking about Jesus.
So we get to chapter 9 in Sunday School and I’m explaining this to the kids as we start to read the chapter, and this girl just cannot believe it! Why would this guy be so mean??! All the other kids are getting into it- describing how mean and nasty Saul must have been, and what God must have felt when God looked at his life.
Then we keep reading and get to the part where Jesus actually comes to Saul and talks to him. At that point, I’m loving watching this girl’s face as she reacts to the story. Why would Jesus talk to him? He’s too mean! But where it becomes amazing to watch and listen to her reaction is when we read that Saul really does change his mind about Jesus. She could hardly believe it!
Why would this man change so much? Why would Jesus care about changing him? Why not just throw him in jail??
But that is not how the story goes. The story is that Saul does change… that Jesus is really still interested in him… the story is that Jesus radically changes this guys life.
It was amazing to watch as this girl experienced the story for the first time, and how that experience shaped part of her understanding of who Jesus is.
Jesus is not just interested in “right and wrong,” but Jesus is actually interested in changing lives. Jesus still loved Saul. Jesus still wanted Saul to be part of His family. Saul’s life really did radically change after meeting Jesus.
You know something… I kind of knew all of that, but I had forgotten it in the familiarity of the story. I am glad someone helped bring it back to life for me…. and I can hardly wait for our next Sunday School lesson!