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Friday, May 8, 2009

Bus Stop Ministry?

One morning a Christian woman was on her way to work and arrived at the bust stop as she usually did. But this morning was different, there was only one other person at the bus stop, a young man who was crying uncontrollably. The woman asked the young man if everything was alright and he answered with a loud sigh No! They began to converse and the man shared that he had lost his job, his wife, and was loosing his home. The women shared her story of how she used to be unemployed, homeless, and lonely until she visited her church and heard the word of God. She informed the man that God was good, Jesus is real and that everything in her life changed. Her church helped her find a place to stay and soon she found a job, later she found new love. The women was late for work that day, but a few Sunday's later she saw that same man walk through the doors of her church. When she approached him after church to ask why he had come, the man replied because no one had ever explained the love of Christ and the role of the church to me like that before.

In today's text for reflection Philip is able to share his testimony and witness to an Ethiopian, just like the Christian woman in the story. Let's look:

Philip and the Ethiopian
26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopiand]">[eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."

30Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.

31"How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

32The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
"He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before the shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth."

34The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

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.

Just like Philip, and the Christian woman we must ask ourselves how do we share our testimony, and where. What bus stop ministry experiences have you had? How do you tell others about our risen savior Jesus Christ? God provides opportunities for ministry in the strangest and seemingly insignificant places, therefore today's question is how are we responding to these opportunities?

Brothers and Sisters, let's pray: Today God prepares us to answer the call to witness in all the places we go and to all the people we encounter, being like Philip who ministered to the Ethiopian.

Until next time, Be Well
Love Pastor J.

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