Are you tired? Take this time to rest. Relax every part of yourself. Breathe slower. Be ready for what God has before you today.
Acts 8:26-40 (NRSV)
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
A Waffle House seems to be an unlikely location for a discussion between two strangers about when the Christmas season occurs. Christmas morning breakfast was accompanied by the juke box playing a seasonal song. One customer asked another, “Aren’t you glad the holidays are over?” The second diner explained that Christmas didn’t really begin until the birth event and that it would continue for another 11 days. The door to discussion was opened for a brief time, and after that encounter neither person met again.
The doors for ministry were opened briefly in Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch and in an unlikely place—a desert road—and lasted for a brief span. The Ethiopian listened to Philip’s presentation of the good news, then responded with a request to be baptized. In this scene, it may be unexpected that water was available.
Philip was present at Pentecost and had witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated among untold numbers of persons who evidently were from other communities and nations. Here, the Holy Spirit led Philip to witness to one person outside the Jewish community, but it opened the door to introducing Jesus as the Messiah to a heathen country.
Where do you see doors opened to ministry opportunities? Do you react quickly enough to serve or witness before the doors are closed?
Lord, help me to speak words that are easy on the ear and on the heart. Show me when and how I am to witness for you, beyond my frame of reference, to persons I don’t know. Amen.
Go with God.
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