The world is full of stories. We all each of us have our stories to tell. And we have the deepest need to listen to them and be listened to. That’s the dignity and discipline of listening.
It’s nearly impossible for us to imagine the enormous significance of the following three things to the Jews of Jesus’ day, and thus the early Jewish followers of Jesus: 1. Circumcision 2. “Clean” vs. “unclean” 3. Being Jewish – not Gentile.
The Gospel of Jesus, offered to the whole world, challenges many traditional, ceremonial, and congregational restrictions. It is certainly easier for the “establishments” to open their doors and accept people and ideas that fit into or enhance their existing beliefs.
Sometimes I feel like everyone is talking, but no one is really listening. We hear everything through the filters of our own experience and sometimes it seems we are speaking two entirely different languages.
Because of the abundant presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, Paul and Barnabas are overflowing with happiness. Paul and Barnabas find their joy, their happiness, their self-worth, and even their ministry effectiveness not from anything they say or do or accomplish, but from the Holy Spirit’s presence in their lives.
Our main focus today is the pro-counsel’s advisor or wizard who wanted to prevent Barnabas and Saul from sharing with Paulus. Interesting that Saul calls on the Holy Spirit to invoke blindness on the wizard just as he had been blinded at his conversion earlier. Nothing to miss here. Paulus was converted and full of…