Copy
Daily Devotional is a ministry of the Living Church.
 
View this email in your browser

Daily Devotional • January 25
Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

Elizabeth Baumann
Pricey Sneakers
 
A Reading from Philippians 3:4b-11

4b If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

7 Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11 if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Meditation

I’m willing to bet that almost no one reading this can remember the last thing you threw away. I can’t. None of us remember, because the bit of trash — whatever it was — was that unimportant, it wasn’t worth even thinking about. That’s why you threw it away.

In this lesson Paul is saying that everything is insignificant compared to knowing Jesus. And he doesn’t have mediocre credentials to sneeze at. Saying he was “circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless” is like saying he was born on Martha’s Vineyard, went to Harvard and Yale, graduated with honors, and then, when he might have chosen to lay around on a couch in pricey sneakers, instead he joined the Peace Corps. He had every imaginable worldly advantage, and had earned every imaginable worldly accolade. Yet he considers it all like that piece of trash none of us can remember.

Paul will be beaten, imprisoned, gossiped and lied about, falsely accused, shipwrecked, and finally beheaded. Even the people he converted caused him a lot of headaches (those “foolish Galatians” and, ahem, the Corinthians). Unlike other apostles who were mere common fishermen, Paul was privileged; he was well on his way to great and greater things. Until the event we remember today, when he traveled to Damascus, and all those great things became worthless because Jesus was so much greater. It’s a good day to ask ourselves: what are we holding onto that we should throw away so as to cling to Jesus more closely? Do we know him so well as Paul?

Elizabeth Baumann is a seminary graduate, a priest’s wife, and the mother of two small daughters. A transplant from the West Coast, she now lives in “the middle of nowhere” in the Midwest with too many cats.

Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

St. John’s Church, Tampa, Florida
The Diocese of Panyana – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan
Twitter
Facebook
Website
Subscribe to Daily Devotionals

Forward to a Friend


You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list



Our mailing address is:
The Living Church
P.O. Box 510705
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Add us to your address book


Copyright © 2023 The Living Church, All rights reserved.