conversion

Thursdays at Volmoed – Sermon for the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle

Scripture Readings

Today in the Church calendar is the feast day of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle. Last Thursday was the feast day of the Confession of St Peter the Apostle. What with one being designated the apostle to the Gentiles and the other the apostle to the Jews, the week in between has been dedicated to an intensification of prayer for Christian unity.

The story of Paul’s conversion is very prominent in the New Testament. The story itself is told three times in various ways in the Acts of the Apostles, the last of which telling we heard this morning. We also heard Paul allude to it in his letter to the Galatians, as he does in several of his other letters.

Thursday at Volmoed – Sermon for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22B)

Readings for Sunday

Given that the Pharisees supply an answer to their own question readily enough when Jesus prompts them to do so, they certainly don’t seem to have been seeking enlightenment from Jesus. If, as Mark tells us, their question was asked as a trap, it doesn’t appear to have been much of one.

However, I’m told that marriage had come to be regarded mostly as a legal arrangement between families, and divorce raised the question of how that legal arrangement could be terminated. It seems this was a hot topic of debate among religious scholars of the time.

The Pharisees were trying to catch Jesus in a position of unorthodoxy. There was also a deeper trap: John the Baptist had literally lost his head by directly challenging the divorce and remarriage proceedings of King Herod.