St Paul | Art for A Proper 24

1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul…

St Paul
ZOPPO, Marco
St Paul
c. 1468
Tempera and gilding on panel, 50 x 31 cm
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
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How does ‘the Way’ go for you?

We talked about Saul’s conversion (Acts 9:1ff) on Sunday. As always, Forum members voiced a number of questions, expressed their wisdom learned by experience, and each of us left a little fuller and richer for the fellowship and conversation.

detail-conversion

Some random observations and questions from Sunday:

  • Though much of our art and poetry have God knocking Saul off his horse, the text makes no mention of horses
  • Saul is on his way to round up (and punish) any who “belonged to the Way” (v. 2) This is one of the earliest appellations used for those later called “Christian” (See also: Acts 18:23-26; Acts 19:23; Acts 24:14, 22)
  • The term “Christian” was first used in Antioch (c.40-44 CE) according to Acts:
    • 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.” Acts 11:25-26 NRSV
  • When one of our members suggested that there is often “conversion” (or recommitment in trust) as a response to trial, darkness, dryness, or the ‘Valley of the shadow of death,’ there were many nods and affirming comments.
  • Does conversion come best, deepest, profoundly, only through a ‘dark moment,’ a trial, a letting-go? A question for the week. A question for you.

Come back, as the week progresses we’ll work through some of the other comments from Sunday. Please continue the Sunday conversation by commenting here.