“From Paul, whose call to be an apostle did not come from human beings or by human means, but from Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from death. All the brothers and sisters who are here join me in sending greetings to the churches of Galatia”.
Gal 1:1, 2 GNB
Sometimes significant events happen that determine many later events and serve to form and crystallize thinking about those events. The futile attack on Russia and the fatal siege of Stalingrad ordered by Hitler in World War II proved to be a turning point that influenced the rest of the war as well as the final outcome.
The resurrection of Jesus formed the foundation and basis of Paul’s Christian experience, faith and apostleship. He didn’t trudge the roads of Asia Minor and Eastern Europe to preach of Jesus because he thought Jesus was the best prophet around. Nor because of the miracles Jesus had performed. He didn’t set out to solve the social problems of the places he visited either. He was met and accosted by Jesus on the road to Damascus, as if Christ wanted to afford Paul an opportunity to meet him after his resurrection from the dead as the other apostles had done. The people in the churches to whom he was writing also were his brothers and sisters in the fellowship of the resurrection. Christ’s rising from the dead had injected purpose and confidence in the church and it was the basis of the disciples’ call to go out and proclaim Jesus.
The risen Christ is still the foundational belief of Christians everywhere. It is the core of the Christian message, the heart of the gospel, and the hope to which God points us.
Lord, recall us to the core message of the first apostles.