Saul/Paul: noticed any changes lately?

a spring flowering treeSpring is a great time of year to talk about change! Every day brings new changes in God’s creation. Have you noticed buds ready to burst forth into blossoms? How about trees; yesterday they were just branched silhouettes! And doesn’t it seem like if you stood still, the grass would grow greener beneath your feet?

It is thus appropriate that discussing change is a part of our April 2010 Rotation (for our 1st – 6th graders at FUMC in Ann Arbor, MI). Our Bible story for this month comes from the New Testament book of Acts (in Acts 9:1-22).

We’ll be studying the revolutionary transformation that came about in a man known by two names: Saul and Paul. Saul’s life was turned around when he met Jesus.

stain glass windows depicting the conversion of Saul/Paul

Saul/Paul’s conversion is an event that is remarkable for its dramatic impact and profound results. Saul started off determined (and violent!) in his quest to squelch Christianity, which at the time, was beginning to spread. A meeting with the risen Messiah transformed him; he became a courageous, dogmatic advocate of Jesus as our Lord and Savior! (And a traveling missionary who braved ship wrecks, imprisonment, beatings, and death threats.)

Studying the change that occurred in Saul/Paul leads us to questions for ourselves:
  • What does the presence of Jesus in our lives look/feel like? Is it as obvious as a bright flash of light or subtler? What ways does God use to get your attention?
  • How does being in the presence of Christ change me?
  • Do we change just once, the initial time we meet Jesus or are we continually changed as our relationship with Jesus deepens?
  • How do we seek out this sort of change?
  • After Saul met the risen Jesus he was a changed man. His life was totally different. How do others know that I am a follower of Jesus? What in my life is evidence of it?

Just a few questions to get some discussion started in your family.

And be sure to catch church this weekend because… Rev. Gil Miller is set to preach on the story of Saul using Acts 9! His sermon is titled “Saintly Sinners.” I wonder what we'll learn?

Photo credits:
Flowering tree:
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