MONDAY THE ELEVENTH OF JUNE, 2018
* Barnabas *
Lord God, loving encourager of all that is good, when I look at the glory of your creation, my mind fills with admiration and my heart fills with wonder. How could I applaud all of your work and fail to recognise it in my own life? I forget that you have changed me because you love me; that you, the most high God, chase after me because I am important to you. Help me remember you have a work to do in me and through me. Please help me to see just how precious I am to you, that you started a good work in my heart and have promised to complete it. May I boldly embrace each opportunity to reveal your divine design. Amen.
Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.
Let not your weary heart be troubled, believe in God, believe in me;
for in my father’s house are mansions, I will prepare a place for thee.
Let not your peace in calm assurance be ruffled by the storms of life,
but soldier-like, with firm endurance, just glory in the holy strife.
Let not your hope be dimmed with doubting, let not life’s burdens foil your grace;
but in each conflict victory shouting, like he who runs to win a race.
Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.
( Barney E. Warren )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Barnabas: very encouraging!
The story of Barnabas is written in and through the “New Testament.” Believed originally to have been from Cyprus, he was a disciple of Jesus, a bridge-builder between Saint Paul and the original apostles, and one of Paul’s great co-workers among the gentiles.
There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
In chapter nine of the same book, he facilitated a meeting between Saint Paul and the other apostles who were afraid of him. In verses twenty-six and twenty-seven we read:
When Paul had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus.
The word “encouragement” in Greek is “paraclesis.” In the “Gospel of John,” Jesus identifies the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete. This was vitally important to Paul and the other first generation Christians. Paul uses the word encourage, or encouragement, twenty-one times in his epistles. Barnabas brought the Spirit nearer to those among whom he ministered.
As you think about your own life, who are the ones who stand by you, who guide and counsel you; who comfort you, motivate you, strengthen and consoles you? These are the qualities of encouragement.
Scripture. In the First Letter to the Thessalonians,” chapter five, verse eleven, Paul implores the members of the church:
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
… for peace in the world.
… that we may receive all the encouragement we need to do the Lord’s work all the days of our lives and that we will be given the grace to be an encouragement to others as they seek to live righteously.
… for those who have been turned away by others, for those fleeing from danger who are refused a safe haven, for the unwanted.
… for victims of knife crime, for an end to the gang culture and tribalism that encourages violence towards and hatred of the other.
… for victims of mugging.
… for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
… for ourselves.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From a treatise on the “Gospel of Matthew” by Chromatius of Aquileia:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp only to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house.”
The Lord called his disciples the salt of the earth because they seasoned with heavenly wisdom the hearts of men rendered insipid by the devil. Now he calls them the light of the world as well, because they have been enlightened by him, the true and everlasting light, and have themselves become a light in the darkness.
Since he is the Sun of Justice, he fittingly calls his disciples the light of the world. The reason for this is that through them, as through shining rays, he has poured out the light of the knowledge of himself upon the entire world. For by manifesting the light of truth, they have dispelled the darkness of error from the hearts of men.
We have been made light out of darkness as the Apostle says, “For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”
He says another time, “For you are not sons of the night and of darkness, but you are all sons of light and of the day.”
Saint John also rightly asserts in his letter, “God is light” and whoever abides in God is in the light just as God himself is in the light. Therefore, because we rejoice in having been freed from the darkness of error, we should always walk in the light as children of light.
This is why the Apostle says, “Among them you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.”
If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity the light men so desperately need. As we know from scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit, but instead he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved.
Consequently, that brilliant lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us.
For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandment and spiritual grace, to which David referred, “Your law is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Solomon also says this about it, “For the command of the law is a lamp.”
Therefore, we must not hide this lamp of law and faith. Rather, we must set it up in the Church, as on a lamp-stand, for the salvation of many, so that we may enjoy the light of truth itself and all believers may be enlightened.
Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well-being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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