When I come across a list of names in the Bible, it’s easy for me to just skip over it and get to the more exciting story that follows. Sometimes, however, there’s a message even in a seemingly boring list of names. Take Acts 13, for example. The people listed there are from different ethnicities – some Jewish, some Roman, and possibly even an African. Each person has a different history – one likely grew up in a palace like in the fairy tales, another murderously pursued people with beliefs different than his own. On top of that, the people listed there serve the early church in different roles – some are pastors and some are prophets.
Yet despite these differences, these people are united in Christ. They serve the one church together, blessing one another with their different backgrounds and perspectives, interests and gifts.
I love how the church of Jesus is made up of so many different people, people who maybe would otherwise have nothing to do with each other, but in Christ they (we!) are united in a bond of love. The Good News of Jesus is that He reconciles us to God, but He also reconciles us to one another; one ought to lead to the other is how I see it.
I pray that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s grace to me so that I in turn may share it with others, no matter how similar or how different they may be from myself.