Today's Reading: Acts 11:19-30; 13:1-3
As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Tomorrow is the holy Feast of Pentecost—the day when the Holy Spirit came upon the people through the preaching of the Apostles and many were saved. But the Holy Spirit wasn't done there. As the church grew through the preaching of the Apostles, the Lord called more men into the Holy Ministry to be His preachers. One of those men was St. Barnabas.
St. Barnabas was called to be an Apostle along with St. Paul. Together they preached repentance unto the forgiveness of sins in Jesus' name far and wide. The Spirit worked through their preaching and many were made believers in Christ.
But the Holy Spirit still wasn't done. He still ISN'T done today. From St. Barnabas on down, the Lord has been calling men to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in Jesus' name. He called your pastor to be like St. Barnabas and deliver Jesus to you.
Like St. Barnabas, your pastor baptized you, preaches Jesus Christ crucified to you, teaches you the Scriptures, absolves you of your sins and gives you the Body and Blood of Jesus to eat and drink. Like St. Barnabas, your pastor is a faithful witness to Jesus, not with his own eyes, but by the eyewitness testimony that has been handed down in the Holy Scriptures.
Tomorrow, when you go to the Divine Service and receive the gifts of Jesus from the voice and hands of your pastor, remember: He's just one more guy like St. Barnabas in a long line of those the Lord has called to serve His people with His gifts.
Christ is risen and has ascended to the right hand of the Father. Until He comes again, He cares for us in His church by the apostolic ministry of His Word, which is given through men like St. Barnabas and our pastors. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
For Barnabas we praise You, Who kept Your law of love And, leaving earthly treasures, Sought riches from above. O Christ, our Lord and Savior, Let gifts of grace descend, That Your true consolation May through the world extend. (LSB 518:17)
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