June 06, 2019

Church on the Move

Acts 8:26-40

They came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”

—  Acts 8:36

I once attended a conference in which we visited a church called “Church on the Move.” It was a congregation that was quite different from the tradition I am used to, and the church’s name has stuck with me. I have come to appreciate the meaning behind the name of that church.

Church life can be static and stale for many of us. We have our routines. We may even sit in the same chair or pew, week after week. Though Christ has intended his church to be a community that is always growing, inviting all kinds of people to come to know Jesus, the church can become rather stationary if we let that happen.

In our reading for today, the Spirit sends Philip in a certain direction, and Philip soon meets an Ethiopian who is reading from the book of Isaiah in his chariot. The man does not understand what he is reading. God has sent Philip for this moment, and a new disciple is born out of this encounter.

The Spirit of God soon took Philip to another place, and the Ethiopian man went back home, bringing the good news of Jesus with him. Though this man was a eunuch who could no longer have children, the church in Ethiopia today points back to him as a spiritual father.

As a disciple of Jesus, where and how are you helping to keep the church “on the move”?

Lord and God, we thank you for the way the Spirit moves into our lives and hearts. May we follow the Spirit faithfully, moving in line with your will each day. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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