"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" It hurts you to kick against the goads." (Acts 26:14). So asks Jesus of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. As I write this, it is the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle. It's a moment to reflect on Saint Paul's remarkable turn towards faith and the revelation that he received from Jesus Christ. Goads were long pointy sticks used to encourage oxen to move in the right direction. Jesus' point is clear,. When we work against God we only hurt ourselves.
Not all of us received this level of clarity. Like Paul, we are often kicking against the goads without even realizing it, and it may take some heavy discernment to understand what we are doing. It's always a good idea to ask ourselves whether what we are doing is consistent with God's will or whether it is just coming from us. Another way to frame it is to ask whether what we are doing is life giving.
I want to thank you all for a wonderful Annual Meeting last Sunday. We received the budget for 2023. We thanked our outgoing vestry members and elected new ones. We elected convention delegates. And we reflected on the last year and turned towards the next. We took a moment to reflect on what we have been doing together as a church community. As we move into 2023, let's contemplate whether we are kicking against the goads in any way. Are we acting in accordance with God's will? What do we do here at All Saints that brings us life and what do we want to bring with us into this year?
The Rev. Bram Kranichfeld