How does God make something good come from something bad?
In Acts, Stephen has just been martyred. The followers of Jesus realize they are in imminent danger and must flee for their lives. Their leaving Jerusalem helps to spread the gospel message. They begin to teach not only Jewish people but others as well. A wonderful blessing occurs. Jewish people and Gentiles are coming together to share a meal. And even more, they are sharing their lives. The restrictions of the past are no longer applicable to the people who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord.
The success of this mission is so great and so fruitful that it spreads to the Northern regions of the territory until it comes to Antioch. So many people were converting that Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to make sure the faith was being witnessed correctly. Barnabas was so excited that he sent word for Paul to come join him. Together, thousands of new converts were brought into the faith. People realized the new brotherhood between Jew and Gentile needed a new name. For the first time, people of the new faith will now be called Christian. Christ’s people.
The message that was being shared? Right from our gospel today, “The Father and I are one.” Jesus is Lord and Savior. It is through the power of His Name. We need to ask ourselves today – do I believe in the Name of Jesus?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen