Prayer: May we look for ways we can break through with the Word and share your love with all. Amen
Reading: Acts 8: 26-40 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I find history to be both fascinating to learn and humbling to remember. European history in particular is complicated beyond my keeping it straight. I was in France the year of the 70th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy but the places we saw went back hundreds of years. In Austria, while I was excited to see sites of the story of the family Von Trapp, of course most of what we learned was about classical composers Haydn, Mozart and others centuries before The Sound of Music. So, recently in Spain and Portugal, I already knew the Catalan independence movement is a current event whose story goes back through the Moors, the Roman Empire, the New World exploration, Islam and Christianity - many complications and barriers.
The book of Acts is the story of the early Christian church and Phillip was the breakthrough man who carried Jesus' love to widows, to Greek-speaking Jews, to Christians who were not traditional Hebrews, to Samaritans and then, in our reading today, to an Ethiopian. It can be said Phillip was responsible for the first African Christian, and legend has it that the strong North African church of the first few centuries could be traced back to this convert.
History is fascinating and humbling. Think of some barriers that you would like to see the gospel "break through." What kind of men or women of God will be needed for that to happen? Are you one of those individuals?
-- Ruth Gates
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