Directs, Decides and Dismisses – Thursday, the third week in Easter – Acts 8:26-40/ John 6:44-51

The focus of the text is often and with good intention set on Philip or the Ethiopian eunuch who was the finance minister of the Queen of Candace. I, on the other hand, am drawn to focus on the Holy Spirit as the champion of the text. It is the Holy Spirit who directs, decides and dismisses.

The Holy Spirit Directs

For many in the Church today, ministry has become a matter of ‘my baby.’ That is the prime ingredient for a recipe headed for the waste bin. The ministry of Philip was a runaway success in Samaria. (Acts 8:5-8) Yet the Spirit of the Lord does not confine him to Samaria and confirm him as Bishop for life but tells him to ‘get up and go.’ (Acts 8:26) He is sent on the road that goes ‘down.’ Down does not seem like an upward promotion on the face of it and even worse, he is sent on the ‘road of the wilderness,’ a road few would tread today for it went from Jerusalem to Gaza.

The Holy Spirit Decides

Perhaps ministry for us today has not only become my baby but who I choose to minister to. Often parish groups are marginalized by the very shepherds called to lead them because they have their ‘pet peeves’ against them. As pastors, we are called to minister to all. But there are times when the Holy Spirit decide who we need to specifically minister to.

 In this case, it was an affluent and influential man of political standing. We may find it loathsome to minister to someone in politics or even scorn those who minister to those who are financially well-off. Do politicians and the rich deserve the wrath of God and only the poor in spirit inherit the kingdom of God? Let God’s spirit decide the path of ministry and service for you. In this case, it was a wealthy man who became the FIRST AFRICAN CONVERT to the faith. Imagine what would have happened if Philip had his pet peeves against some in the Church.

The Holy Spirit Dismisses.

We like to sit on thrones of power, in chairs of position and the seats of prestige. We anoint ourselves prophets, priests and eternal kings in the ministry we are given charge of temporarily. What a shame it is when we cling to our posts way beyond our calling. Philip had successfully converted Samaria and now he had converted a wealthy political big wig. Yet the Spirit of God ‘snatched Philip away’ and sent him to Azotus (present-day Ashdod) before sending him further north, along the coast in the direction of Casearia, the heart of the Roman administration of that day.

How silly we are when we tell God our plans; he must be laughing in heaven. But woe be upon us when we insist that ‘our’ kingdom come and ‘our’ will be done on earth. For such, there cannot be a place in heaven! The Holy Spirit is in the business of appointments. I say this tongue in cheek for this is the time in the year when priests are ‘appointed’ to a parish by their Bishops. I recall with sadness when disappointment first set in my heart when appointed to Malad East. It almost seemed like a ‘punishment.’ Yet the stone that the builders may reject is the cornerstone in God’s plan.

When the Holy Spirit dismisses you to a new role, no matter what position you hold and what capacity you are sent in, GO! There are too many among the clergy, religious and the laity who hold on to their seats as if their post defines them.  Maybe Philip hesitated and that is why he was ‘snatched’ and sent on.

Bishops, priests, religious and laity need to read this text often so that their hearts may be in tune with His Holy Spirit and pray that they too are ‘snatched’ by God’s Holy Spirit even if they are sent to Gaza, Ashdod or Caesarea and not give in to the evil spirit of power and position.

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading