Scripture Reading — Acts 8:36-40
36As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 38And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea. —
The eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" Acts 8:36
In my work with different kinds of churches I'm continually amazed that God uses many different models for spreading the good news of Jesus. Philip shows us one model that we might call "the chariot church." Philip's style of reaching out with the gospel across cultures is something that's needed in many of our communities today. There's a whole new generation that's vitally interested in spiritual things today, but, like the Ethiopian, they may feel they could never enter a church. This generation also tends to ask questions about faith that no one inside the church is asking.
What they want is someone to travel along with them for a while, exploring the meaning of life with God as they go. They need relationships with people who are filled with the Spirit of God. They want to know if the Bible has anything to say about life as they experience it--filled with poverty, injustice, broken relationships, deep hurts and disappointments. I know that many churches preach biblical and culturally relevant messages. The problem is that many who are asking the questions aren't coming in to hear those messages.
The church has to go to them. They experience Jesus through ordinary people like you and me. Who could you travel along with on a journey of discipleship? It could change your friend's life--and your own!
Jesus, there are people you have placed on our path. Help us be open and receptive to hear the questions they ask. Help us create time and room to travel with them. Amen.