Meeting Others Not Like Us

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch…

Acts 8:26-27

This story presented itself to me this morning in contemplation. My contemplation centered on the difficulty we have accepting, or at least dealing civilly with, people of races and/or sexuality from ourselves or our culture.

In America, that group may be black people or homosexual people. In much of Africa, people of another tribe and homosexual people. We have been watching English TV, a crime series set in the 1960s. A particular neighborhood had signs on apartment buildings, “No blacks or Irish.” And so it goes, region by region, around the world.

Yet, Philip, a Jew but also now a leading Christ-follower, is guided by God to an opportunity. This opportunity to meet a seeker who is of another race and sexuality. (It’s tricky to translate first century culture to twenty-first, but there is some similarity.)

Philip spends time with the man explaining how the Hebrew Scriptures pointed to Jesus and then the good news of Jesus. The Ethiopian accepted that story through faith and was baptized.

Our challenge is this—how open are we to talking with someone we meet who is different from us? Could we be Philip in the twenty-first century?

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