Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. ~ Acts 9:1-2
These two verses are really important.
They are important for us when we are looking at the credentials of those who lead us.
They are important for when we are looking at the credentials of those who sit next to us in the pews on Sundays or who sit next to us in the office or cubicle next door.
They are important when we think we believe the right way.
Or do the right thing.
Or worship correctly.
Or know our Bible really well.
Or follow the right doctrine.
They are important for when we think that God only chooses "good" people.
Or people like us.
Or people different from us.
They are important for whenever we try to box God in in anyway whatsoever.
Because Paul is probably the most important figure in the early church.
Because Paul is responsible for so much of our theology.
And Paul was Saul.
And Saul breathed threats and murder against Jesus' followers.
Before he became a follower himself.
So when you think you know what a follower of Jesus should look like.
Because God showed us that we should expect the unexpected.
Because God showed us that unexpected people can do extraordinary things.
Holy One, help me not to judge. Not myself, and not others. Open my heart to those who follow you who surprise me at every turn. Amen.