At that time prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine over all the world; and this took place during the reign of Claudius. The disciples determined that according to their ability, each would send relief to the believers living in Judea; this they did, sending it to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
As you go, proclaim the good news, "The kingdom of heaven has come near." Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
‘See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
The rich person toils to amass a fortune,
and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties.
The poor person toils to make a meagre living,
and if ever he rests he becomes needy.
One who loves gold will not be justified;
one who pursues money will be led astray by it.
Many have come to ruin because of gold,
and their destruction has met them face to face.
It is a stumbling-block to those who are avid for it,
and every fool will be taken captive by it.
Blessed is the rich person who is found blameless,
and who does not go after gold.
Who is he, that we may praise him?
For he has done wonders among his people.
Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?
Let it be for him a ground for boasting.
Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,
and to do evil and did not do it?
His prosperity will be established,
and the assembly will proclaim his acts of charity.
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means ‘son of encouragement’). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Psalm 19, 146
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God *
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 One day pours out its song to another *
and one night unfolds knowledge to another.
3 They have neither speech nor language *
and their voices are not heard,
4 Yet their sound has gone out into all lands *
and their words to the ends of the world.
5 In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun, *
that comes forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber
and rejoices as a champion to run his course.
6 It goes forth from the end of the heavens
and runs to the very end again, *
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; *
the testimony of the Lord is sure
and gives wisdom to the simple.
8 The statutes of the Lord are right and rejoice the heart; *
the commandment of the Lord is pure
and gives light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean and endures for ever; *
the judgements of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
more than much fine gold, *
sweeter also than honey,
dripping from the honeycomb.
11 By them also is your servant taught *
and in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can tell how often they offend? *
O cleanse me from my secret faults!
13 Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins
lest they get dominion over me; *
so shall I be undefiled,
and innocent of great offence.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight, *
O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
Praise the Lord, O my soul:
while I live will I praise the Lord; *
as long as I have any being,
I will sing praises to my God.
2 Put not your trust in princes,
nor in any human power, *
for there is no help in them.
3 When their breath goes forth, they return to the earth; *
on that day all their thoughts perish.
4 Happy are those who have the God of Jacob for their help, *
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
5 Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them; *
who keeps his promise for ever;
6 Who gives justice to those that suffer wrong *
and bread to those who hunger.
7 The Lord looses those that are bound; *
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
8 The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; *
the Lord loves the righteous;
9 The Lord watches over the stranger in the land;
he upholds the orphan and widow; *
but the way of the wicked he turns upside down.
10 The Lord shall reign for ever, *
your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Job again took up his discourse and said: "Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me; when his lamp shone over my head, and by his light I walked through darkness; when I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent; when the Almighty was still with me, when my children were around me; when my steps were washed with milk, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, the young men saw me and withdrew, and the aged rose up and stood; the nobles refrained from talking, and laid their hands on their mouths; the voices of princes were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. When the ear heard, it commended me, and when the eye saw, it approved; because I delivered the poor who cried, and the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of the wretched came upon me, and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy, and I championed the cause of the stranger.
When he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. So he went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. When the believers learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.