Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 8: Year 1
“Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.)” (Acts 8:26)
As I read this Acts lesson I am reminded of how geographical God is. God finds the people with the faith and personality traits desired, and then moves them to where God needs them. This is repeated throughout the Bible. God moves Abraham from his father’s house to a land that God will show him; God moves Ruth to Naomi’s people; God moves Moses back to Egypt to free the Israelites; God moves David away from, and then back to Jerusalem; God Moves Joseph to Egypt, and then back again with the baby Jesus. And God moves Philip to the Eunuch in our Acts reading for today. God is a mover and shaker.
But today’s Acts passage has several preaching points. After God, through the angel, moves Philip to the path of the Eunuch, God has him to begin the explanation of the Christian life from where the Eunuch was, rather than the beginning of the Bible. This is a lesson we could all learn. When we are asked to help someone understand, we should start with where they are, and go from there.
Another preaching point is the unexpected opportunity to Baptize. Philip waste no time when the Eunuch points to the available water. While the Eunuch was perhaps not allowed in the Temple due to his physical disfigurement (which makes him a eunuch), he none the less is accepted into the household of God in Christ Jesus through Baptism. Thank You Jesus.
Then God moves Philip to Azotus where he continues teaching and preaching the Good News. There are many lessons in this passage.
Today we remember two great Women: Pauli Murray, civil rights lawyer and Episcopal Priest; and Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” I invite you to research these women who also allowed God to move them as God saw fit.
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John