The Inside Column 19/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 19, 2016 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to you.  We invite you to join us after the service for a hot drink and fellowship.

Can you think back to the time in your life when you first became a Christian, that time when you said yes to Jesus? Today we start a new chapter in the book of Acts, up to this point we have been reading about the Apostles and a couple of early converts and how they started the church and have started taking the Good News out to the world.

Today we meet this guy called Saul aka Paul – a serious persecutor of Christians before he encountered Jesus. Of the 27 books in the New Testament, 13 are attributed to Paul, and approximately half of Acts, deals with Paul’s life and works. Thus, about half of the New Testament stems from Paul and the people whom he influenced.

Paul was a Greek-speaking Jew from Asia Minor. His birthplace, Tarsus, was a major city in eastern Cilicia, a region that had been made part of the Roman province of Syria by the time of Paul’s adulthood. Two of the main cities of Syria, Damascus and Antioch, played a prominent part in his life and letters.

Although the exact date of his birth is unknown, he was active as a missionary in the 40s and 50s of the 1st century AD. From this it may be inferred that he was born about the same time as Jesus (c..4 BC) or a little later. He was converted to faith in Jesus Christ about AD 33, and he died, probably in Rome, circa AD 62–64.

His trade, tent making, which he continued to practice after his conversion to Christianity, helps to explain important aspects of his apostleship. He could travel with a few leather-working tools and set up shop anywhere. Until about the midpoint of his life, Paul was a member of the Pharisees, a religious party that emerged during the later Second Temple period. And this is where we meet him today in our reading.

Today you will see some sign-up sheets in the foyer for Synod help. We are hosting Synod from Thursday 4 August through to Saturday 6 August and we need your help. We have broken the jobs down into different time slots; we will need a team leader for each of the different roles and small group of people to help. If you have any time at all it will be greatly appreciated – even a couple of hours will be helpful. Synod is also big fund raiser for the church so the more we can all do together the greater the funds raised. Don’t for get to sign up today – get in fast before all the good jobs get taken.

 

Yours in Christ

 

Philip

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