Even though Sundays don't count in the 40 days of Lent (that's why it's the First Sunday IN Lent, not the First Sunday OF Lent), I'll share some thoughts on this morning's scripture reading, anyway...
Acts 13:1-12--Paul and Barnabas's First Journey (Part I)
Verse 2 tells us that the Spirit speaks directly and chooses Barnabas and Saul--how cool is that?! And then in verse 3, they are only sent out after the disciples fast, pray, and lay hands on them. We think those things don't matter as much as action, but they must have mattered to the early church, so why not to us, too?
I think this passage gets a little confusing when people start having two different names. My study Bible has a box explaining the Saul/Paul thing, but I didn't get to it yet. (Sunday morning's time is just a wee bit limited...)
Reading about a false prophet in the book of Acts is kind of surprising. I think of false prophets as sort of Old Testament-y and out-of-place by the time we get past Jesus, but I guess that's only my own idea. Here's one, right here in Acts. How interesting!
I wonder what it was like to see the apostles performing miracles and signs, as well as magicians doing their things. Did they seem like the same thing? I imagine it was difficult to tell the difference between magic and miracles and the Holy Spirit sometimes, but maybe I'm wrong. There must have been something different enough, or maybe it was just the teaching of the apostles and not their signs, because the governor believed. That's a great witness to the work of the Spirit and the apostles.