About a year ago I heard a sermon on Isaiah 53. The preacher used the story in Acts 8 about the Ethiopian eunuch to drive home his thesis that Isaiah 53 is ‘the 5th Gospel’. The servant who was despised and rejected is such a poignant picture of how Jesus lived out his ministry and gave hope to that eunuch.
I was actually listening to it at Planet Fitness and had to stop several times because I was so moved by the depth of the insights that this guy was making.
Sometimes, a thought just captures my imagination– I have chewed on that sermon for over a year now. I have regularly read Acts 8 and thought about Philip and this eunuch. I imagined their conversation and imagined what might have lead to them meeting up and imagined what it would feel like to be rejected and humiliated, but to have hope spoken in to the situation. What a game changer if we could regularly and specifically speak hope [not just wishful thinking, but stuff you can count on] into the despair all around us.
I have been looking forward to preaching last Sunday’s text for a long time. Being the kind of church that runs alongside people in their moments of greatest confusion and darkness and speaking hope– that’s a vision that breathes life into my soul.
I invited you consider responding to God’s grace like these 2 guys: Philip and the Eunuch.
- Philip was a portrait of faithfulness. He is the kind of guy who was decided to say ‘yes’ when God asks. We can be those kinds of people. It is a simple decision: God when you ask, I will say yes. And then live your life listening for his instructions.
- The eunuch was a portrait of humble teachability. He poured over the Scriptures looking for answers to his situation. He asked for help. We can be those kinds of people: God, I will search your Word. I will ask for help from your people.
Both of these guys are great pictures of what it looks like to respond to God’s grace.
On Sunday, we responded as a church and turned in our commitment cards. It was a sweet moment at each service as we prayed quietly, gave thanks for the opportunity to give and renewed our desire to say yes to God in humble teachability.
If you have not yet turned in your card, please take a moment to put it in the mail or drop it at Restoration. We will announce the total amount pledged at our fall retreat this weekend. For those who can’t be with us, we’ll let you know on the 28th.
Thanks for walking through this season together. God has given us vision for the future, a plan to get there, the opportunity to renew our dependence on Him, and hope.
May we always be a church that speaks hope.