What is to prevent us?
Acts 8:26-40 | Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch26An 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.) 27So Philip 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 28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31the eunuch replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep led to the slaughter,
and like a lamb silent before its shearer,
so he does not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As 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?” 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, 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 snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But 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.
… what is to prevent us from allowing the church to push us in new directions?
Nothing, there is nothing that would prevent us. Because of Easter, because of grace, because of God’s love for us – nothing is to prevent us from being this kind of church.
This is the power of the story of the Eunuch and the power of Jesus’ love to abide with us post-resurrection…. Is that nothing is preventing us from growing the church guided by the Spirit and rooted in the love of Jesus. Our task as disciples is to continue to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit that emboldens us, like Phillip, to encounter people in their walk of faith and provide access to the love of Jesus that is the vine. So that, when people wonder if they could be part of the vine, if this could be a church that would embrace them as they are, we say, yes, this is the church of Jesus Christ, and you are most certainly welcome to abide in the presence of God’s love here. Amen.