“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.”
Herod the Tetrarch was the ruler who had beheaded John the Baptist and he also was responsible for some of the trials of Jesus. He was not a good man.
Manaen became a disciple of Jesus and then a Church leader at Antioch.
Manaen and this Herod grew up together. They knew each other, maybe as children played together, but then went different ways.
2 boys started the same path but then ended on two different ones.
Why does that happen?
It is not how you started but how you finish and how you finish is based on decisions you make along the way.
In 1923 nine of the richest men in America met together in a hotel in Chicago: President of the NY Stock Exchange, the most influential financier on Wall Street, the head of the world’s biggest monopoly, the presidents of America’s biggest steel corporation, electricity company and gas company, a powerful wheat baron, the president of an international bank, and the Secretary of the Interior.
Twenty five years later in 1948 – one of the men was insane, two had just been released from prison, 3 were bankrupt and the remaining 3 had all committed suicide.
It is how you finish that’s important – many don’t finish well.
But it could be other people who are to blame. Circumstances that take place in our lives can bring hurt and we make decisions based on these incidents.
In a small country church is a novice altar boy serving the priest at Sunday mass accidentally dropped the glass of wine. The priest struck the boy, knocking him to the ground. Standing over the young servant, the angry priest shouted, “Get out and don’t come back.” That boy became Tito, the Communist President of Yugoslavia and great Stalin supporter.
In a city cathedral, a young altar boy serving the bishop at Sunday mass accidentally dropped the glass of wine. With a warm twinkle in his eye, the bishop hugged the young boy to his side and gently whispered, “Someday, you will be a wonderful priest.” That boy grew up to become Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Bishop of New York and the 1st American tv preacher in 1957 – 30 million viewers ‘Life is worth living’.
Today life is worth living so let us live like Manaen who chose a better path.