While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said . . .
— Acts 13:2
There are subtle things written in Acts that we can easily miss while reading it quickly. I miss important details at times, and maybe that happens to you too. But then there are moments when the Spirit helps us see things that we never noticed before.
Note that in the church at Antioch the believers were worshiping and fasting, and that the Spirit revealed to them that Barnabas and Saul were called. Then, after this was revealed, the believers fasted and prayed and laid hands on the two before sending them off.
The word “they” is crucial in this passage. Prophets and teachers are identified, but the community of believers is mentioned too. There’s something powerful that happens when the community of faith is together.
If you are part of a church, you know that churches often try to model themselves after other churches. There is nothing wrong with learning from another church model, but it can then be easy to try to go in your own strength to make it happen.
This community was set on worshiping, fasting, and praying—and as they did so, the Spirit revealed an important mission. Notice too that they laid their hands on Barnabas and Saul. The Spirit-led community sent them off with a communal blessing to serve in the Lord’s unfolding plan for his kingdom.
Father, as we worship, pray, and fast, show us your mission for our lives. In your strength, we want to do what you call us to do. Amen.