Acts 11: 25 Barnabas went to Tarsus in search of Saul. 26 When he found him, he brought him to Antioch. They were there for a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching large numbers of people. It was in Antioch where the disciples were first labeled “Christians.”
What does it mean to be a christian? This was a question posed to me by one of our youth not to long ago. As we discussed answers we had heard the number was ridiculous. It actually reminded me of how the leaders of Israel took ten commandments and made 613 new ones. So we decided to narrow it down and look at what the Bible says directly.
We decided that maybe the question for a christian should be, who do we belong to. Referring back to the movie "toy Story " again we see the characters wonder who they are? Woody tells them, "look under your boot Buzz, you too, Jessie, who's name is written there?" Andy's name was written showing they belonged to Andy. In the early church the name christian became a name meaning that you belong to Christ.It was given because the people of Antioch, a very diverse cultural city, could tell those who were marked with Christ by the way they were thinking and speaking. They knew who they belonged to to. In other words their life was changed.
Do people know who we belong to by our thinking and speaking? Do they know we are "christians" by our love, speech and thoughts? Oh there are many other ways to let people know in the 613 ways, bumper stickers, shirts, crosses around our necks, and going to church but I am not sure they are the true answer to the question; what does it mean to a christian? Happy Father's Day and I pray we will see each other as we take a look at the Trinity in worship.
Gracious Lord, thank you for the people you put in our lives. Thank you for the questions that make us dig deeper in life. Father, help me on my journey to grow in faith, understanding and compassion to the world around me. Lord, help me not water down your Word to make it fit and instead work in the Word you have delivered to me. Father, bless my families as I continue my walk. Lord I pray this in the name of Your Son Jesus, Amen.
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Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006