Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul 1/25/2021

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

Today, January 25, 2021 is when the Christian Church celebrates the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.  The Church remembers the Conversion of Saint Paul as a remarkable, sudden, dramatic, and radical change in Saul, the fanatical persecutor of the young Christian church.  His conversion exhibits a merciful call to repentance, and the consolation that such an example of God’s grace offers to all sinners.

This post is devoted to one of the Feast Days that the historic Christian Church regularly observed that are generally neglected today.  I pray that you find this message beneficial in your devotions this or another day.

“Saint Paul’s life changing experience on the road to Damascus is related three times in the Book of Acts (9:1-9; 22:6-11; 26:12-18).  As an archenemy Christians, Saul of Tarsus set out for Damascus to arrest and bring believers to Jerusalem for trial.  While on the way, he saw a blinding light and heard the words “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  Saul asked “Who are You, Lord?”  The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”  In Damascus, where Saul was brought after being blinded, a disciple names Ananias was directed by the Lord in a vision to go to Saul to restore his sight: “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15).”  After receiving his sight, Saul was baptized and went on to become known as Paul, the great apostle.” 1

The verse or theme for this feast is “Alleluia.  Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My Name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  Alleluia.”  It is from Acts 9:15.

First Reading       Acts 9:1-22

Psalm                   Psalm 67 (antiphon v. 5)

Epistle                  Galatians 1:11-24

Gospel                  Matthew 19:27-30

There are two hymns appointed for this day: “Chief of Sinners Though I Be” and “O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth” as found on pages 611 and 834, respectively, in the Lutheran Service Book.  You may listen and sing along with these hymns at these direct links: “Chief of Sinners Though I Be” Lutheran Service Book LSB #611 – YouTube

O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth (LSB 834) – YouTube

Collect of the Day:

Almighty God, You turned the heart of him who persecuted the Church and by his preaching caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world.  Grant us ever to rejoice in the saving light of Your Gospel and, following the example of the apostle Paul, to spread it to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with the You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Pastor Jim Tuell

Treasury of Daily Prayer, Scot A Kinnaman, General Editor, Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, MO., 2008, p, 1151-1152.

Conversion of St. Paul (c. 1767) Nicolas Bernard Lépicié
Conversion on the Way to Damascus (c. 1601) – Caravaggio

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