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What a reminder of how explosive the message of grace and forgiveness is.

How guilty are we as Christians every day for not wanting to help certain people or not acting like specific people are too far gone.  Jesus was constantly giving people new starts, new beginnings and second chances.  Jesus lived and gave his life for all people, everyone, no one was left out of his love.

Two scenes that I wanted to talk about that reinforces the grace and forgiveness story.

The first, the interaction between Ananias and Saul (Paul).  Ananias receives a vision and is told to go to Saul (Paul) and is supposed to help Saul receive his sight and tell him that God has called him to suffer and take his name to the nations.  Ananias opens his dialogue with “Brother Saul” which is so profound because those were the first words that Saul has heard from another Christian after days in darkness.

Ananias could have been so mean and hateful towards him, instead he says “Brother Saul”, which is a family word and like saying “we are in this together”.  They stayed in Damascus for several days and Saul proclaimed Jesus in the villages and temples.  The Christian community slowly gathered around Saul (Paul) and eventually gained faith that he had changed and eventually was leading people for Christianity everywhere.  The second is when Peter goes to Cornelius.

The scene shows Jesus talking to Peter when Roman soldiers knock on Peter’s door.  When Peter heard the knock on the door and opened it up, it would have been natural for Peter to be apprehensive seeing the Roman soldiers but Jesus had already told him not to be afraid and to go with them.  Jesus tells Peter, “remember, everyone is welcome”.  Peter is brought to Cornelius and Cornelius tells Peter that he has had a vision and wanted him brought he to see what he has to say.  Peter leads Cornelius and all of his household to Jesus and baptizes them.  Peter shows love to the Roman oppressors who had killed his master Jesus Christ.

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