Acts 11:25–26

Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

Acts 11:25–26, ESV

Saul, also known as Paul, went from being one of the great persecutors of the Church to become one of the greatest teachers. He, being met by Jesus, saw the truth and could not help but proclaim, and he was invited into a great movement of the Holy Spirit within the first community to take on the mantle of the name Christian. Of course, we know that there were many followers of Christ prior to the name, but we see in the community of Antioch the first major mission to give back to Judea from the mission work of the Church. As we wear the mantle of the name Christian, we are meant to be aware of the weight we bear with that name. It isn’t a title we should take lightly. It isn’t something earned but given, and in some places in the world, the document most vital to people is the certificate that bears the date of their Baptism into Christ. The time they entered into a greater family and a promise of eternal life. The faith journey for people was never hurried in the early Church. People would enter into the faith, but then time was spent teaching and preaching. The raising up of disciples was the most vital act after being Baptized. Baptism was an act that was given at the asking, but the work of discipling was and still should be a long-term process. We are called to raise disciples of Christ and teach the disciplines of our Christian faith. The name of Christian, given first to the Antiochene Church, is a name that is given to all who truly learn the disciplines of Christ and are enlivened to be a part of the faith that is beyond all borders seeking to bring Christ to all who are willing to hear.

Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.

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