The Book of Acts, in Acts 13, turns once again toward Paul and from here out it is mostly about Paul and Paul’s missional work. The opening verses of Acts 13 are fitting beginning for the week because it is about God’s anointing:
13:1 Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen (a close friend of Herod the tetrarch from childhood) and Saul. 13:2 While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 13:3 Then, after they had fasted and prayed and placed their hands on them, they sent them off.
This text reminds us again that mission is the mission of God and that missional work is what God is doing, regardless of what we are doing. Saul and Barnabas are set apart for extending the gospel into far away places because God’s Spirit moved through the leaders at Antioch to reveal what Saul and Barnabas were to do. This is a one-of-a-kind action of the Spirit in the Book of Acts; nowhere else does the Spirit direct the church like this.
, and I pray this book will put some sanity on the table about what fasting is designed to do.)