Acts 13:1–3 (ESV)
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
13 Now there were
in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for
me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
Barnabas and Saul are called by the Holy Spirit and
“set apart” for their first missionary tour. They are with some leaders in the church at Antioch. The list includes Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, and Saul. We know that Saul will later be called Paul. What I find interesting
is that Simeon if from North Africa and is most likely black. Lucius is also from northern Africa. The significance of this is that the early church did not discriminate between people of color. Why should we now? Also interesting is Manaen,
a lifelong friend of Herod. Herod is not know for his faith. It is interesting that Herod had a man of faith as a close friend. The word for “life long” could also mean he may have been a foster brother. What can we take
from this small passage? If you are a person of faith, you never know how you might influence friends around you. Stay true to your faith.
I pray: O Lord, we never know how we may influence
others around us. Help us to remain faithful and true to you, and at the same time be a living witness to others through who we are. Help us to realize that others are always watching us and our ways, help us to not give them too much of our own
errors, but help us to show good Christian behavior. Forgive us when we fail. Amen.