Reflections: June 11, 2021
St. Barnabas, Apostle
By Jeffrey Horn
Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyrus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:36-37)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Today we thank God for redeeming Barnabas by grace through faith in Christ! We praise God for all that He worked through Barnabas for the good of the Church. Barnabas teaches us to be strong in the Gospel and active in charity.
Barnabas trusted in Christ. The apostles gave him the name Barnabas, which means "son of encouragement." He was generous with his gifts and used them to encourage others, as he did here, selling his field and giving the money to the apostles to support the work of the Gospel.
Barnabas was bold. After Saul (also known as St. Paul) was converted to Christ, he came to Jerusalem to see the apostles. They refused to see him because they thought it might be a trap. But Barnabas brought Saul to them. and they learned they could trust Saul.
When the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles in Antioch, the Church chose to send Barnabas to build up the new believers in Christ. Barnabas was known to all as "a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith." He exhorted the new believers to be faithful to the Lord Jesus and not to abandon their faith when things got hard.
Barnabas went to Tarsus so that he could bring Paul to Antioch, where they continued preaching and preparing for their missionary journeys (Acts 11:23-26). Think of how important it has been for the Church through the ages that Barnabas sought out Paul and supported him!
May God bless the Church today with believers like Barnabas who encourage others in Christ, love the Word of God, and give charity to support the work of the Gospel! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, Your faithful servant Barnabas sought not his own renown but gave generously of his life and substance for the encouragement of the apostles and their ministry. Grant that we may follow his example in lives given to charity and the proclamation of the Gospel; through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Jeffrey Horn is the pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA.
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