It was my turn to lead opening assembly last night and I decided to do something a little different than normal. A poem:
Paul and Barnabas
Paul and Barnabas, P&B,
2 brave disciples, missionaries, visionaries, for the man who died on the tree.
From Pisidian they left shaking the dust from their feet
To Iconium they came, preaching to the Jews and the Greeks.
Many are saved, many believe but the non-believing jews gather with not believing gentiles to deceive. Where the spirit moves and power achieves, satanic forces mount creating a division of this very city. Many are fore, some are against, a conspiracy to stone P&B is conceived.
To Lycaonia, a new song is sung, but confusion ensues from ignorance and a foreign tongue. When Paul, through the power of the spirit of the Lord, heals a lame man, a believer, who jumps up for joy. But confusion, frustration, appalation ensues when instead of worship God the locals brand Paul as Hermes and Barnabas as Zeus. The apostles tear their clothing, they preach and they plead: worship only the creator not a man such as me.
Then the wolves arrive. The Jews strive
to turn the local sheep into an angry herd.
The mob turns on the apostolic messengers, casting out a punishment as if they were common blasphemers,
they pick up rocks they pick up stones and throw them at Paul’s head
Bleeding and broken the mob drags him out, leaving him for dead.
The disciples gather in prayer, around Paul whom they plan to bury
but he jumps up, alive, and marches right back into the city.
Then to Derbe, preaching and blessing, the very next day
despite persecution, despite attempted execution, the word of God is here to stay.
They travel back through each town, lifting up the new leaders, strengthening churches, and teaching, encouraging new believers.
The seeds have been planted, the church roots enchanted with the spirit, the word, the living breath that was granted, that was breathed into man into dirt to create life, that spoke , that healed, that gave everlasting peace, that provided new sight
to the blind, and legs to the lame, hope for a sinner, that is the reason the lamb was slain. But death is defeated, sin has been beaten. The son of man sings from the throne of the King.
So this hollows eve, we focus our thoughts on the work of the spirit that came from the on-high and on 2 humble servants who were open to gentiles like me, these brave missionaries, with the initial P and the initial B.