a journey, Acts 12

from Acts 12…

‘25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.’

They chose a third companion to journey to their beloved generously giving home, Antioch. John Mark will touch Saul and Barnabas life’s in many ways in the coming times,

How?

…- positive, yet trying; encouraging, yet failing; listening and learning, yet deserting, as a Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter book (the Death Hallows). John leaves Saul and Barnabas in, on their collective journey, As Ron leaves Harry and Hermione.

Yet, yet they are on a life journey together, so no judgements; no resentments; no punishing silences by us please: only a walk, only walks together with Saul, Barnabas and John.

Saul is not yet Paul; and John to not yet fully John Mark…

But both will be as Christ fully intends them to be as they pour life, full loving and yet disappointing (at times) life into each other’s journey and into each other’s heart.

Their journey is one of one love: unfailing love. Corinthian love.

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Acts 12

my reflection today, from in verse 15…’ you are out of your mind’

“The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.

18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.”

When others think you are out of mind, keep speaking and insisting as a Rhoda; and keep knocking as a Peter; and keep praying as the church.

earnest prayer Acts 12

today’s word… Acts 12

before the Word, a thought…

I have a dear friend, Adam, whose father died a week past. 17 March was the year anniversary Adam, himself, almost passed at 34 years of age due to cancer. I spoke to him on the 20th of March and he said he felt ‘locked’ up…

At times I feel the same… at times I am sure others feel this virus has ‘locked’ them up; , and I am sure that you have felt this way also… in the the passage, below Peter is ‘locked’ in prison by Herod. The only way out of lock ups? Earnest prayer; not prayer, but earnest thankful and heartfelt prayer…

‘5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.’

… how did Peter get in lock up?

3’he ( Herod) proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.’

‘5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.’ What is earnest prayer?

earnest, in the Greek ‘ektenos’, meaning time ‘stretch out’; to be ‘zealous’; ‘fervent’…

This body of believers stretched themselves not just out; but without ceasing

His way, our way, earnest, stretching prayer… as wide as arms stretch out as though on a cross,

In this time, acts 11; 12

acts 11:27-30 and acts 12: 1-2 ‘…this time’

Life seems fast and slow; in and out of time; but, in fact, there is only one time, one moment, it is this time…

Luke is writing about the recent past as though it is totally present; …this time is the here, the now, his life, …This time is Luke and he sees and writes…

‘27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.’

The disciples of Antioch’s gift is not specifically named of detailed. But, as probably with the Magi of Jesus’ birth, Barnabas and Saul carried something items easy to transport and of some value, as gold and precious myrrh. Only two were sent. But those two were Antioch’s teaching leaders, their brothers and givers, their dearly love. Antioch’s leaders sent their best. In this time, this time of need and famine, Antioch sent their heart.

And in Acts 12…

‘It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.‘

Herod arrested some, intending to persecute those taken. He kills James by the sword, this one, so that the rest would be bathed in fear. In this time, , this same moment, Antioch gives; and Herod takes. In this time, evil is present with good.

In famine, in this time, in this moment, for these eternal moments, I choose to give, not take, love not destroy, be and not diminish.

I choose Jesus.

from the end of Acts 11

from Acts 11

him did the newly formed Christian Church response to famine; plague? 🦠??

‘During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.’

How, why, did the disciples in Antioch give?

As the first called Christians, they begin our model…

… they sent gifts-gifts from small in size to great- all their gifts now come to us as examples…this Lent give to others; leave yourself as you much as you able …to be filled by your giving; by holding water; by seeing and hearing; listening and loving others

from Acts 11, Antioch

Today’s Acts share 11

surround yourself , ourselves, with Barnarbas’ character…

Full of love; action; character; the Spirit

full

The Church in Antioch

‘Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.’

full us ,,,

‘Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.’

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.