The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. Simon (Peter) has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
“‘After this I will return
and rebuild David’s fallen tent.
Its ruins I will rebuild,
and I will restore it,
that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
even all the Gentiles who bear my name,
says the Lord, who does these things’--
things known from long ago.
“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.
Reflection. The leaders of the very early church came together to understand what Gid was up to. There were questions about whether all new converts should obey Jewish law. Peter reflected on what the Holy Spirit had taught him and how non-Jewish believers had received the Spirit. Paul and Barnabas testified to great works of God. The gathered leaders knew that God was saying, "go for it."
So, folks, Church Councils are a good thing. We can hear of the work God is doing, we can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and we can go out encouraged. Let's make it a priority to seek the Lord's face and will whenever we meet to discern at Council Meetings.
Prayer. Lord Jesus, by your blessed Holy Spirit, may you inhabit all our meetings. May we see these meetings as worship. Amen.