He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit’s ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master. Acts 11:24 (TM)
Our community theatre is currently auditioning for an upcoming production of the play Cheaper by the Dozen. As President of our humble little troupe, I have a unique perspective from which to watch shows come together. I have been on stage in the spotlight and I have worked backstage in the wings. The show will not go on without both the actor and the stagehand. The actors receive the audience’s ovation and stand in the hallway of the auditorium to be the recipients of flowers, warm embraces, and praise. At the same time actors are receiving their accolades, the stagehands quietly go about their business, making sure the actors have everything they need for success in the following performance.
Similarly, the work God does among us requires all sorts of people. We are quick to recognize the major players in the story of the early church: Paul, Peter, James and John. And yet, we shouldn’t forget Barnabas. In Acts 9, it was Barnabas who was willing to believe Paul’s testimony, accept him as a fellow believer and introduce him to the Apostles in Jerusalem. In Acts 11, it’s Barnabas who is willing to accept what God was doing among the non-Jewish believers. It’s Barnabas who goes to Tarsus looking for Saul. It’s Barnabas who brings Paul back to lead the work of teaching the new believers in Antioch.
Barnabas is stagehand to all that God is doing in the book of Acts. Peter and Paul are easily remembered for their leadership and tireless accomplishments to spread the Message of Jesus. Nevetheless, we should also remember Barnabas and the other nameless, forgotten believers who assisted in making what Peter and Paul accomplished possible.
Whether actor, director, stage manager or usher – we each play an important part in God’s production.