First, a reminder of why this is here (since we have taken a few weeks away from it)… we are engaging in a process known as “Missional River”, which seeks to help First Lutheran connect to and better know our neighbors and seek our purpose as God’s people in this community. The Missional River process centers on different ‘listenings’. One is listening to God in the Congregation, one is listening to God in Scripture, and one is listening to God in our neighbors. The team will be studying the Book of Acts as part of the listening in Scripture process. Each week in this space there will be a brief reading from the Book of Acts and some notes as well as a question or two to consider. We invite the Congregation to “listen” along with us.
This week, we move from establishing our “baseline” in the book of Acts into the actual three part Bible listening in our guide. We begin with chapter 8, which consists of three primary episodes. First we hear of Saul (later known as Paul) and his persecution of the church. (ignore the first sentence, which is half of verse one. It is finishing the story from Chapter 7 where Saul oversees the killing of Stephen for proclaiming Christ.) The second episode is Philip preaching in Samaria, among non-Jews. Remember that Samaritans and Jews did not get along. The third episode tells of an encounter between Philip and a eunuch from Ethiopia who is seeking to understand the teaching of God.
Here is a link to an online Bible:
Some reflection questions:
1. What do you know about a eunuch? They were not allowed in the main area of the temple, so how do you imagine he felt being there? What do you think he felt when Philip showed up?
2. What is Philip’s role in the story? How do you imagine he felt about the eunuch?
3. Where might the Spirit be calling you that makes you feel uncomfortable?
4. How can you open the scriptures in a grace-filled way like Philip did for the Eunuch?
5. Where is hope and good news showing up in First Lutheran? Where is it needed around us?
Here is Session #5: http://flcsm.org/?p=204