Feast of St Barnabas
Barnabas was a Jew born in Cyprus whose given name was Joseph. After his conversion to Christianity he sold his property and gave the money to the Apostles. Barnabas’ name gives us some clue of his personality for the name comes from the Aramaic ‘bar nabas’ which translates as ‘son of encouragement.’ From this we can have a broad picture of the type of person he was.
He persuaded the community there to accept Paul as a disciple, was sent to Antioch, Syria, to look into the community there, and brought Paul there from Tarsus. With Paul he brought Antioch's donation to the Jerusalem community during a famine, and returned to Antioch with John Mark, his cousin.
Although we know very little in detail about the early church and the people who were important, we get a sense of the way that God brought different characters together to carry out his work. In our own day God is doing the same work. Many of us cannot see this but when we look a little deeper we see how many good people there are in the world proclaiming the work of God and the good news.
Even in the lifetime of Barnabas and Paul, the church had serious division and strife and people were teaching all kinds of heresy but somehow God keeps the whole edifice together.
You know, maybe today we are called to be Barnabas, the encourager, to our friends and family; in a way that would make us a sort of an apostle!
Worth thinking about!