Thursday, June 30, 2005

Acts 8:26-40

There are several things that strike me in today’s passage.

First, the meeting described here on first glance seems to be the result of chance. Philip follows a prompting to travel in a certain direction on a given road and just happens to meet an Ethiopian. But for Philip it is not a chance occurrence; it is God’s guiding, an opportunity to share the God’s love with another.

Could it be that the people who will cross your path today will not do so by accident? Might it be that even in encounters with people you may not know God is opening an opportunity for you to share His love? Are you looking for that?

Second, the man Philip meets is black. It is one more instance that makes clear that God’s love is for everybody; black or white, young or old, male of female. There are not meant to be any social barriers, no “hindrances” that the Gospel cannot bridge. Nothing places a person beyond the saving call of God in Christ.

Third, I love the way the Ethiopian immediately goes public with his faith. Seeing water, he asks to be baptized right away. It’s a bold profession of his new belief in Christ made right out in the open, right along a public road, no matter who might be watching.

He is not concerned with being embarrassed. He is not concerned with persecution. He is not concerned with being mocked. He has come to embrace Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and frankly he apparently wants the whole world to know.

Which raises the question of how we feel about Jesus. Are we embarrassed by him? Ashamed of him? Afraid of him and what he might ask of us? Or are we those who like the Ethiopian Eunuch, are willing to live out our faith in public right out in front of everybody?

Finally, I can’t help but notice the Ethiopian goes away rejoicing. If our Christianity is no longer a source of deep and abiding joy for us, then something has gone wrong. We need to go back and ponder anew the Good News of all that God has done for us in Christ.

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