September 2021 Newsletter

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An excerpt from Pastor Parsons' article From the Ethiopian to Philip


From the Ethiopian to Philip

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian t eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

30 Then 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. 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When 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. (Acts 8:26-31, 35-39)


            When I was young, my family didn’t worship regularly. But there were a few times when we went to church for a few months, even a year, before pulling away again. When we worshiped, we had the chance to hear God’s Word, and it was then that God began a hunger and thirst in me for his Word.

            Fast-forward a few years to my college years: I was a Junior in college and was reading through my Bible on my own. Like many others, I tried to just read straight through it like any other book. It was confusing. It was difficult. And it often didn’t make sense.

            After a few months, I walked into the church that was half a block from my apartment . . . and I met my Philip. God had just called a new

pastor to that congregation, fresh from Seminary. His name isn’t actually Philip, but did for me what Philip did for the Ethiopian. Over time, he opened the Scriptures to me by helping me to see the connections throughout God’s Word, especially pertaining to Christ as my Savior.

            Because of the work God called him to do, he helped me to know my Savior. A few months later, he also baptized me. Through the gifts of this man, God took this Ethiopian (me) and made me new. I brought me into eternal life and gave me a better understanding of his Word, and education that will never end. I needed that Philip in my life.

            And so did you. No matter what age it started, you needed (and like me, will always need) someone to open the Scriptures to you for you to hear the promise of Salvation and believe. Having grown in your faith, as I’ve also grown in mine, we rejoice in that marvelous gift of grace from our God and Lord.

            But we do not remain the Ethiopian, new to our faith. Having been strengthened if faith, we now have the same amazing call to go and be the Philip that someone else needs. This doesn’t mean you have to have the best and fullest understanding of all of Scripture. It means that you are able to share Christ with those who need it. Thank the Lord that he brought us from death to life by sending Philips into our lives. May he move us to be Philip to those who need us. Amen

                                                                                                            In Christian love,

                                                                                                      Pastor Wolf B. Parsons

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