Acts 8:26-40 “What is Stopping Us?” JUMC 20120506

8:26 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.) 27 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 28 and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32 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. 33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 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?” 38 He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39 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. 40 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. NRSV

Where is God calling us to go? witness? serve? disciple?

  • Listen, a prayerful preparation
  1. Phillip is connected to the heart and spirit, that what prayer does
  • Get Up, Don’t just sit there
  1. Phillip models our readiness to respond when called.
  2. Firefighter’s bell, alarm clock’s buzzer, etc.
  • Go, Don’t just get our attention, move out of our plans into God’s
  1. Phillip is not just awake and connected, he is in action, for God
  • Speak up, Teach, and Instruct
  1. Meeting the CFO of Ethiopia crosses cultural, racial and social lines.
  2. Being ready to teach and explain the faith we know in our heads to others who are searching, struggling and asking.
  • Respond to the spiritual needs, baptism
  1. The request of the Ethiopian was not traditional or typical
  2. If all we need is water and willingness, why not stop here and now.
  3. Seize the moment to witness and share the grace of Jesus Christ.
  4. If not Baptism, in feeding, clothing, visiting, teaching, healing, comforting, etc.
  5. Stay as long as you are needed. Leaving… to continue with others.
  • Share the Good News with others.
  1. Phillip’s willingness to pray and listen, get up and actually go, share and be hand-on-the-ground, has something to share.

So What? 

WRITE your 50-100 words to practice what you will say when called. “What does it mean to put God first?”

If I don’t know God’s power and grace, give what I do know away.

Go to Honduras, to work, school, across town or where ever God calls

Get up and go to those who we know are hurting, searching and confused

And respond to the needs you find, which what is at hand…

and THEN you will have something to talk about with others.

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