Imagine the emotion
Imagine the emotion. Your son graduates from Ruth Murdoch Elementary School with high grades. Graduates from Andrews Academy on the honor roll and president of his class. Following his graduations from Andrews University magna cum laude, and the seminary with his M.Div., he is hired as a pastor in the Michigan Conference. Within just a few years he is the senior pastor of one of the largest churches in the conference, with an Associate Pastor and Bible Worker on his staff. You couldn’t be more proud. The promise that if you train a child up in the right way he will not depart from it has certainly come to pass for your family. You pray for that young man every night and thank God for His many blessings.
Then the phone call comes. There was seldom a week in his life you hadn’t been in contact. Even after he moved away, you talked by phone weekly and visited as often as possible. You never detected anything out of the ordinary. To say that this call caught you by surprise would be the understatement of the year. You listen in stunned disbelief as he tells you about a personal encounter he had last week with Buddha, and he’s becoming a Buddhist.
That’s how Paul’s parents must have felt when they first heard that their beloved son, a prominent Pharisee, was becoming a follower of the Jesus whom the Council had condemned and the Romans had crucified. They must have been devastated. And yet had the veil between the seen and the unseen been lifted, they would have seen that their prayers for their son were being answered beyond their wildest dreams. From a persecuting Pharisee bent on imprisoning Christians he became the foremost apostle of faith, setting people free with the good news of Jesus and the kingdom of God. And his story and message changed western civilization, and are as vital today as when they were first preached.
This blog post has been guest written by Pastor Skip MacCarty.