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Paul and Barnabas Commissioned

12 May

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. 2While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ 3Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 8 In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10said in a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And the man sprang up and began to walk. 11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’ 12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice. 14When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15‘Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways; 17yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.’18Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to them. (Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18, NRSV)

Saul and Barnabas are sent out to spread the word of God. They were called to be set apart, as all of us were. And like Jesus, Saul had the ability to see into a soul and see them as God did. This man sitting who was crippled from birth, Saul looked at him and could see his faith.

Have you ever looked at someone and felt what they were feeling?

Have you ever been so connected to another soul that you could feel their hurt?

That you could feel their need for freedom?

A wise man told me this is when we enter the space between. You see if we look at our lives as circles, where your life and another’s life intersects is the space between you. You can enter that and possibly feel what the other does.

Saul was there with the crippled man and he knew that he was ready and filled with faith to be healed.

We can and are called to enter that space so that we might share the love of God. Most of us will never enter this space because we have to allow our lives to be on display so they other might enter with us.

But I believe we are all called to go there. To be in the space between. Because God made us to be in communion with God and all of creation and to live our lives to show His love.

Are you ready to enter the space between?

 

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