Jesus is for everyone. As much as some people — and some political parties — link Jesus to themselves, Acts tells us that Jesus is for everyone. When Phillip encounters an Ethiopian in Acts 8, he is fulfilling Jesus’ promises to spread the word of God to “the ends of earth.”
The beauty of our faith is that whether you’re Protestant, African, Orthodox, you’ll have a different understanding of Jesus within your culture. The Holy Spirit gives people of different cultures discernment as to what will and will not fit within their worship of God.
The promise in Acts is that there is nothing that can keep us from the love of God. Everyone is included in God’s people.
“Under African Skies”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Acts of the Apostles 8: 26-40
July 16, 2017
Today is Pentecost, which marks the coming of the Holy Spirit unto the disciples, empowering them to spread the word of God across nations.
Although we celebrate Pentecost every year, many of us feel like we have few – if any – “Pentecostal moments” — that inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In order for these moments to happen, Luke tells us that we need to have some things in place.
First of all, to be a church we need to come together — not when it’s convenient, not when we feel like waking up, not when we don’t have a soccer game — but every Sunday as a church. If you want to be in the life of the Spirit, you have to be together with God’s people.
Secondly we need diversity. The church is a group of people, gathered across cultures and across time. Inherent in the story of Pentecost is how the Holy Spirit empowered disciples to speak in languages to communicate with all people.
Lastly, we need unity. That can be difficult to come by, and without diversity, we can develop a sense of false unity. However, the truth of Pentecost is that we are working toward a day when God will sweep across our diversity and turn in into true unity.