The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed ... Acts 11:21
Most of us will be forgotten. A short time after we die, our names, reputations, and accomplishments will drift into oblivion. Unless our great-grandchildren study their family genealogy, they won't know our names.
We tend to default to "professionals" and "all-stars" around us. Let the popular person in high school be an example, we might say, or let the pastor be a witness.
But today's Scripture reading gives us a picture of one of the earliest congregations--a group of "no-name people"--whom God uses powerfully. In this group there are no apostles, no well-known Christian singers, no published authors, no one with more than three years' experience as a Christian.
And yet look at their bold outreach. Most Jewish Christians didn't dare speak to Gentiles about Jesus. But these "no-name Christians" reached across racial barriers. In this way they were far ahead of the Jerusalem Christians, taking initiative through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They knew the church needed to spread outward and not focus inward.
Often we act as if church is only for "Christian folks." Even new congregations can be tempted to gather the "already convinced" and have a nice, familiar church. But, like the "no-name folks" in Acts 11:20, God calls us to reach people outside the faith.
Lord, we don't need to be famous or popular. Help us see that your Spirit works through ordinary people like us to break barriers between us and our neighbors. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!