Paul and Barnabas continue their journey through Turkey sharing their spiritual truth with those they encounter. I do not know the cities or why they chose the cities they did but Luke reports that in each place they visit, people become believers. Derbe is their next stop and then they begin to circle back, visiting all the places a second time. This time, with prayer and fasting, they appoint leadership and elders. Finally they reach their original launching point, Antioch, where they had been commissioned and sent forth. They report in telling how God had blessed their journeys.
So who are we accountable to? To whom do we report in? It is so easy to just gather with friends at church and chit-chat about family, social events, sports or whatever. Accountability it seems in these reports involves an objective that others knew about, an effort, and then a report to those who are praying and supporting us. It is more than gathering to read Scripture together or even pray together. Accountability is our hopes and dreams becoming our actions with successes and failures. We rejoice together and we cry together.
The travels of Paul and Barnabas this week made me think of Johnny Cash singing “I’m Just a Poor Wayfaring Stranger.” The song is said to have first been published around 1858. It comes from words scratched on the wall of the Libby Prison by a Union soldier during the civil war. Many consider it one of the top 100 Western songs of all time. Enjoy.