Acts 9:1-6 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.  And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?  And he said, Who art thou, Lord?  And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?  And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”

Acts 9:18-21 “And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.  And when he had received meat, he was strengthened.  Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.  And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.  But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for the intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?”

II Peter 1:2 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”

Thomas Kuhn wrote “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” in 1962 as the seminal work on the power of paradigms – the overarching worldview and accumulated set of assumptions that guide our lives or a field of study.  According to Kuhn, “crises are a necessary precondition” for the questioning of a paradigm.  He contends that “failure of existing rules is the prelude to a search for new ones.”  And, when a crisis reveals the opportunity to question the prevailing paradigm, people “often speak of the ‘scales falling from the eyes’ or of the ‘lightning flash’ that ‘inundates’ a previously obscure puzzle, enabling its components to be seen in a new way that for the first time permits its solution.”  While this all sounds a bit academic and obscure, we have a perfect example of the entire process from God’s Word.

On the way to Damascus, Saul faced a crisis in his encounter with the Lord.  His previous paradigm included a pharisaical lifestyle and a determined persecution of Christians.  He was known for “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord.”  As he grappled with his heavenly encounter and three subsequent days of blindness, the failure of his existing path became clear and a search for the truth stirred his heart.  In those few days, the scales fell from his eyes, both literally and figuratively, and he repented of his previous life and turned to follow Christ.  In those few days, he shifted from persecuting Christians to preaching the gospel of Christ.  He went from detaining disciples to defining discipleship.  He shifted from a life characterized by turmoil, violence, anxiety and divisiveness to one characterized by grace and peace, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus his new Lord.

PLEASE PRAY FOR GRACE AND PEACE IN AMERICA.  We are undoubtedly in the midst of a crisis in America.  Our land is characterized by turmoil, violence, anxiety and divisiveness.  Now is the time for us to turn away from our failing, prevailing secular paradigm and towards the God of our founding and the Lord of our saving.  May the scales fall from our eyes in the midst of our current crisis, and may it bring widespread grace and peace through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.