I love Barnabas. We first meet him, he’s selling his field and giving it to the disciples for use in their ministry. Our first introduction to him is an act of giving. And it just gets better from there.
Barnabas is the first disciple to come beside Paul when nobody else would touch him. Paul’s history as a persecutor of Christians made the believers understandably fearful, but, Barnabas’ perfect love for his new brother drove out that fear.
Not only does Barnabas take Paul in, but he also takes the man with him on his important gospel missions. Pretty soon, he takes a step back and lets Paul do all the preaching, paving the way for Paul the Evangelist, who would take the Gospel to the Gentiles like no other disciple ever had before. Barnabas’ selfless love empowers Paul to become not just a part of the family, but a fully realized individual as well.
Barnabas’ journey takes an interest turn from there. You see, Paul wants to take a return trip to all the places he and Barnabas visited together. Barnabas wants to take John Mark with them, but Paul is having none of it. Apparently, Mark had ditched them on a previous mission and now Paul sees him a liability. Barnabas remains Barnabas though. So, Paul heads off alone.
It just goes to show ya: we are often far too quick to forget that the same God that called us out exclusion calls others too. But God never forgets. He continues to extend the olive branch, sometimes in spite of us.
The story has a happy ending, though. At the end of his live Paul summons Mark to his side (2 Timothy 4:11). That Barnabas love finally got through.
Sitting still, waiting for the Spirit to speak
LORD, hold my muscles still until You say
So I can walk in Your ways, speak Your truth
live out Your mission for my life.
Let us go down
Let us walk with
Father, Spirit, Jesus
Being an example of living for us all
Dear little boy,
so scared and thin,
it is time to become
to take the hand of the lonely
to feed the hungry
to lead the church
and cover your family
in eagle’s wings.
Welcome everyone you meet
into a safe and empowering place
where they can explore and grow.
Make bold choices
Be patient and kind.
but a simple man
in love with
and with God.
There will come a day when we will live together in harmony
for now there is in-fighting, dissension, and discord,
but I hold onto that bright bright future
for one day it will come-
I see glimmers of it, now and again,
like stars in the sky, often covered by clouds or smog,
but every so often revealed in their full wonder.
The people are leading now,
with their voices,
They don’t needed to be steered,
forcibly guided by instrumentation.
I set my guitar down and sing with them,
the sensation is like setting my bare feet
in a cool stream,
I can feel my soul revived,
flowing downward for miles and miles
Until we finally meet the sea,
become one, evaporate
and ascend into the heavens
to sing once more.
People fight, they do
it’s part of life
but it doesn’t have to define us
We fight today, we make up tomorrow
We fight not to divide but to wake up the senses,
we want peace to win
There’s a time to clench fists
and a time to let go
Me? I’ve lost all the sensation down there
The blood vessels are too restricted
So, I’m letting go
Let’s shake hands
God be with you!