Someone was paying attention to Sunday’s sermon.
Preaching on Saul’s conversion, I paraphrased a saying sometimes attributed to Martin Luther: “God can shoot straight with a warped (crooked) arrow.”
In my message, we heard the Lord’s incredible announcement that Saul, an ardent and deadly enemy of the fledgling Church, is God’s chosen “instrument… to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel.” The initial reaction of the Christian community is “Him?!?! Saul? Are you sure, Lord? The same guy who has worked overtime to prevent the Christian message will now present the Christian message?”
In His gracious love, God chooses imperfect, unlikely instruments like Saul, you and me, as apostles, too, sent out into the world to serve in holy work. As Saul, now Paul, later writes, “For we know, brothers and sisters, beloved by God, that he has chosen you.” Our intial (and ongoing) response may be, “Me? Are you sure, Lord?”
Yet, as the apostle Paul later affirms, God instills great treasure in crude “earthen vessels” (II Corinthians 4:7). Just so, God can shoot straight with warped arrows.
Someone approached me after Sunday’s message and said, “Warped arrows, huh? So that means that our Church is God’s quiver full of warped arrows.”
Like I said — someone was paying attention Sunday.