I’m no biblical scholar, and frankly, Paul intimidates me a little (so strident!), so my posts for this series will come, as usual, from my reaction to the text, not from any knowledge about the text. What strikes me about the first chapter of Galatians is how strongly Paul proclaims his personal revelation/experience, and his independence from the movement’s leadership. “I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.” (Galatians 1:16-17) Only after three years on his own did Paul go to Jerusalem and see Cephas (Peter).

Paul had a blinding personal revelation. He heard God, felt God, saw God in a way that eradicated the man he was, and he acted on this newfound awareness. He did not ask all his friends what they thought happened to him on the road to Damascus. He did not turn to the leaders in his synagogue, or buy books interpreting his experience for him, or denying it happened, or offering a different, better experience as the one he should have had. He heard and he acted.

Do you trust your own personal revelations? Have you had any? (There’s no right or wrong answer, only a listening, discerning heart.) How can we use the experience of Lent to better attune ourselves for our own Damascus experience so we too can proclaim our experience of God?

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