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Prevent Me

. 3 min read

2015/05/03
Christ Church, Mountain Top, Communion
Children,
John 15.1-8
Message,
Acts 8.26-40
Daily discipleship:
      Scripture as the way to salvation – OT as
testimony about Jesus
      Sensitivity to the Spirit’s leadership
      Life of witness
Acts:
      Story of mission of Jesus in the church –
“Jerusalem … ends of the earth” (Ac 1.8)
      Working out the theology of resurrection
in witness & mission of the church
      Working out theology of the Spirit in the
order & mission of the church
Introduce Philip:
      One of the seven “full of the Holy Spirit”
(Ac 6.1-7) – meals on wheels – part of the minority Grecian group
      Mission in Samaria (Ac 8.5-25) – Peter and
John had to come and “validate” it (gift of the Spirit)
      Father of 4 daughters with gift of
prophecy (Ac 21.8-9)
      Led by the Spirit: “an angel of the Lord
said” (8.26); “the Spirit of the Lord snatched him away” (8.39)
      The Spirit is constantly overflowing
boundaries, the kingdom of God is much larger than we imagined.
Introduce Ethiopian Eunuch:
      Roots of the Ethiopian Coptic Church, now
½ the population of Ethiopia and over 40 million persons worldwide

      Treasurer for the queen – executive,
educated
      Ethiopian – racially, culturally “other”
Eunuch:
·        
excluded from Israel (Deuteronomy 23.1, KJV:
“wounded in the stones”) and, therefore, from temple access/worship
·        
a “sexual minority” (Bolz-Weber)
·        
Ebed-Melech (Jer 38, 39; Jewish Encyclopedia) – Ethiopian eunuch serving the king of Judah;
“trusted in me”, saved
Beginning with that very Scripture …
Isaiah
56:3-8
 Do not let the foreigner
joined to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from his
people”; and do not let the eunuch say, “I am just a dry
tree.”  4 For thus says
the LORD: To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that
please me and hold fast my covenant,  5
I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than
sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut
off.  6 And the foreigners who
join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD,
and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and
hold fast my covenant —  7
these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of
prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my
altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.  8 Thus says the Lord GOD, who
gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those
already gathered.
The
Spirit is constantly overflowing boundaries, the kingdom of God is much larger
than we imagined.
About whom does the prophet say this?
Intro
Jesus
·        
Touched lepers, the unclean
·        
Ate with sinners and tax collectors
·        
Reminded the people of God of all the outsiders
that were included in the saving work of Israel’s God – a widow from Sidon, a
general from Syria (Lk 4.25-30)
·        
“House of prayer for all nations” (Mk 11.17,
expanding the Isaiah quote to refer explicitly to nations in the phrase)
·        
Resurrection a validation and endorsement of the
kingdom he proclaimed
The
Spirit is constantly overflowing boundaries, the kingdom of God is much larger
than we imagined.
“What is to prevent me from being
baptized?”
(8.36)
Desire,
mixed with a history of disappointment
Ache,
shaped by a story of rejection
Yearning,
fed by hope of the kingdom
Answer:
NOTHING is to prevent you
Resources:
Nadia
Bolz-Weber, Pastrix
Jewish Encyclopedia 1906