Prophecy was a miraculous gift given by God to the church of the first century. It consisted of inspired teaching. To the prophet God gave edifying words of truth. At times the prophet was instructed to register his message in written form. Some, but not all, of these writings were included by God in our New Testament.

A small element of prophecy was the prediction of future events. At certain points, God gave to the prophet knowledge of something that was to happen so that the hearers could prepare for the event.

One of them, named Agabus, got up and predicted by the Spirit that a severe famine was about to come over the whole inhabited world. (This took place during the reign of Claudius.)
Acts 11.28 NET

At this moment, the prophecy created an opportunity for the Christians in Antioch to reciprocate to the saints in Jerusalem, fulfilling in this manner the principles of solidarity and sharing. They could respond with material goods for the spiritual salvation that they had received by the hands of the Jews.

In the same way that God showed by miraculous means that the Gentiles (nations) ought to receive the gospel (chapter 10), he now shows that the church of the Lord ought to be generous and help her brothers in faith in their time of need.

Both in evangelism and in Christian solidarity the disciples ought to take advantage of the opportunities that God puts before them.

Father, what a blessing to have your guidance in this life for the service of Christ. Thank you for the opportunities to serve the brothers. Help me to assist them according to to my possibilities. Amen.

Hold this thought: Solidarity has to be solid — concrete and real.

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