St Paul the Rebel?

Back home in Blighty after a great weekend celebrating the launch of God’s Squad CMC’s new chapter in Malta. A great time catching up with club family and mates, and making some new friends too. The sunshine was an added bonus.

On Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of getting my feet wet in San-Pawl Il-Bahar – the traditional location of St Paul’s shipwreck circa AD60. The Biblical account (Acts 27-28) says that Paul was shipwrecked there on his way to stand trial before Caesar.

This got me thinking about the stories of some of the people in my life – whether it be homeless friends who are suffering due to injustice in the local housing system, or friends from motorcycle clubs being victimised by the unjust “anti-bikie” laws in Australia. As a follower of Jesus I don’t feel I can be silent about these things – according to Amos 5 God’s not too interested in our worship songs if we’re not taking a stand against injustice.

Standing in those waters (whether they really are the place where St Paul was shipwrecked) got me thinking – what what does it mean for us to stand before the ‘Caesars’ of our day? Someone once said the reason most Western Christians are in no danger is because we are no danger. Following Jesus authentically often means speaking truth to power and becoming ‘guilty by association’ due to the people we’re friends with. That’s what Jesus did.

My prayer is that we the Church will see it as a divine vocation to speak truth to power – to challenge the unjust structures in our society, to befriend outcasts, living our lives as pilgrims in a world which often doesn’t want us.

Which caesars are you called to stand before and why? Comments below.

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