A Travellerspoint blog


Where the disciples were first called Christians

sunny 40 °F


Aboard the Silver Whisper February 2, 2020 at 9:15 am

HYMN: Marching to Zion

The people say the words in bold italics.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray. Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


LORD, you have searched me out and known me;
you know my sitting down and my rising up; you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting-places
and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips,
but you, O LORD, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before
and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go then from your Spirit?
where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there;
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me
and your right hand hold me fast.

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles
[There] were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number became believers and turned to the Lord. News of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion; for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians.” (11:20b-26)

A Reflection The Reverend Hope H. Eakins

The disciples had followed Jesus; they had mourned his death. After that fatal day at Calvary, they sometimes doubted that he really was the Messiah after all, but they had seen signs that he was still with them, seen resurrection in their own lives, and decided that just maybe they would follow him, live as he had taught them, come together and share bread and wine and pray as he had led them. It took a while, but pretty soon people noticed the way they were living and started to call them Christians.

Names matter. When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in this part of the world, it didn’t sell well. Maybe it had something to do with the name. In Spanish, Nova means No Go.

Names matter. Call a child Fatty or Four-eyes and you could break their heart. Call your partner Beloved and it weaves you together with bonds of trust and gladness.

Today we were supposed to be in a place where names REALLY matter, a place called the Falkland Islands or the Malvinas depending on your loyalties. Even those names came from names. The first European there called them the Falklands after the homeland of his expedition’s sponsor. And the founder of the first settlement named them after the port of Saint-Malo in Brittany, which itself was named after the city’s founder.

It seems that God takes names seriously too. The first thing God asked Adam to do was to name all the animals. Then God named Adam’s wife Eve because Eve means "mother of all living." When Jesus gave Simon a new job, he gave him a new name and called him Petrus, Rocky, and said, on you, Peter, on this rock I will build my church. And a few years later on when a man named Saul stopped persecuting Christians and became one instead, he took the name Paul.

“It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christians,” says the text. Most of us here would call ourselves Christians. Jesus tells us what that means. He says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Names matter. If people call you a Christian you’d better act like one. I know. As a person who sometimes wears a clerical collar when I go to the supermarket, I know better than to push my cart ahead of the elderly man blocking my way. Dressed like a professional Christian, I had better act like one, and I had better keep on acting like one even without my collar.

The church at which Bill and I serve is large and well endowed – AND – on a corner by a bus stop. Throughout the day, people in need see the cross on our tower and knock on the church office door to ask for help. Why? Not because they think we are a social service agency but because they know we are a church. The cross on the tower marks us as a place where people care and share the self-giving love of Christ, and so we hand out blessing bags with hats in the winter and fresh vegetables from our garden in the summer, and we say a prayer with those who want one.

Imagine what the world would be like if one way or another every Christian lived as though they were marked with a cross. And indeed we are. We wear the cross that was traced on our foreheads when we were baptized and marked as Christ’s own forever.

So if we are marked as Christians, how can we cast a vote to enrich ourselves on the backs of the poor, if indeed, “they will know we are Christians by our love?” How can we lie to our boss, our spouse, or even to the Internal Revenue Service if we are told by God to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around our waist? (Ephesians 6:14) How can we pollute the earth and fill the sea with plastic when earth and sea are not our possessions but only gifts given us to use and pass on to our children?

So what do you think prompted the people of Antioch to look around and call some folks Christian? The Christians didn’t look different; they didn’t have a different accent. It must be that they acted different and the people of Antioch recognized their love for one another and for the world. Oh, if we could live the same way today, live so that even if the whole Gospel story were lost, it could be reconstructed by looking at us, the ones they call Christians.

The Prayers
Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep.
We have wasted the earth’s resources and polluted our children’s inheritance.
We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts,
We have hungered for riches and power and taken what is not ours as our own.
We have offended against your holy laws,
We have ignored the hungry and homeless, the unemployed and destitute, orphans, widows, and those who are lonely.
We have left undone those things which we ought to have done,
We have nursed our anger and refused to be reconciled with those who have hurt us; we have been intolerant of those who differ from us.
We have done those things which we ought not to have done.
We ask for grace to see ourselves as you see us and to amend our lives according to your Law.
Have mercy upon us.
We pray for our world’s leaders and for all who have authority over others
Give them wisdom and understanding.
We pray for those who travel, for the crew of the Silver Whisper, for our expedition team
Keep them safe.
We pray for all who bow before you, that the gifts of faith and hope and love you bestow upon us will deepen our understanding and respect for one another.
Open our minds and hearts to see you in unexpected places.
O God our heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the birth of Bob and Twyla Elliott’s grandson, Sebastian Sage, and for your abiding presence, mercy, and love. We commend into your keeping Lillian Lazaris Giachino, mother of Nick, who dies this morning, and we give you thanks for her life and all that she means to her family and friends. Bless us on our life’s journey and give us grace to follow where you lead; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Blessing
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all
evermore. Amen.

HYMN: Onward, Christian Soldiers, verses 1, 4-5

Officiants: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins, The Reverend William J. Eakins

Pianist: Lech Wos

Reader: Martin Chow

Altar Guild: Jane Kline

Usher: Douglas Kline

Expected time of the next service: February 9 at 9:15 am

Posted by HopeEakins 06:28 Archived in Antarctica

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Praise the Lord you had great weather Wes says!!!!!You saw great sights but in the sun light.... beautful pictures......Are you leaving the ship in Chile? You mentioned last sunday service....????

by chloe horton

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