The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
In Acts 9:10-19, the Lord appears to a Christian named Ananias, telling him that he is to find Saul of Tarsus and pray for him. This would naturally be frightening. Ananias expresses to the Lord that he is aware Saul has been arresting people who are followers of Jesus. The Lord tells him it is all right, that Saul is ready to hear from him.
There are many situations in this world which make me nervous. There are places I would choose not to go, at least if I didn’t need to. There are a lot of people I would rather not meet, not to mention trying to pray with them. Those whose sworn duty and intention includes arresting me and trying to arrange for my death would fit into that category. It is no wonder that Ananias is resistent.
Jesus has a very important task for him. He is to tell Saul of his future mission. He is to commission Saul, telling him that he will be testifying to Jesus before all sorts of people, Jews and Gentiles alike, and that he will suffer intensely for his Christian faith. Ananias, finally persuaded, goes and finds Saul exactly as he expected.
What does Jesus do through this servant, Ananias? When Ananias lays hands on Saul and prays for him, Saul receives his sight again. He is baptized and welcomed as a brother in Christ. Saul’s life has been turned around.
We never see or hear of Ananias again. We have no idea what became of him. This is often the case with faithful servants of the Lord. They pray, they work, they love and serve their neighbors for Christ’s sake, and they rarely end up in the spotlight. This is perfectly fine. Jesus often works through the least of his people, doing things which eem mundane, but which may occasionally have profound impacts on the people around them. We do very well when we are faithful to what the Lord has given us and when we find contentment in those places of service. The Lord will use us when, where, and how he wishes.
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