"Go - and stay near it."
Today's reading: Acts 8:26-29 (NIV) 26Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." 27So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. 29The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
Earlier in Acts we read that the good news would be spread to the ends of the earth. Biblical commentary tells us that it was believed that Ethiopia was to the ends of the earth. I wonder if Philip knew how far he was to go, the scripture doesn’t say, it only tells us that Philip received a divine direction to head down the desert road. And so he did.
Philip was willing to do this for Jesus. He wanted to give his all to Jesus and carry the message of salvation to everyone; it didn’t matter to him where or when, only for whom mattered. Philip trusted the Lord to give him the Holy Spirit to understand the message of scripture and the message of salvation. Philip was living in God’s will, he was free from repression, quilt, sin in his life, he was living for Jesus.
Communion Sunday is a day for me to take a deep look at who I am and what I do before I ever step up to the altar to accept the gift of Holy Communion. I want Jesus to be the person in my life that I look to as the only example of what I should be. I want my ambition to be His ambition for me. I must be living in God’s will so that I can be free to accept the elements of Holy Communion.
Jesus, gave everything for me, all that I am and all that I have or desire to become must be based on living my life for the Lord. In hearing the divine calling to come to the table of communion is much like Philip’s calling. He sets out on his way and it isn’t long before he see’s a man in a carriage reading scripture and the spirit spoke to Philip saying ‘go to that chariot and stay near it.’
God calls each one of us to the table and desires us to accept the gift of his body and blood. He wants us to stay near him, and he made a way for us to do that. He also wants us to understand His love for us. Receiving communion is a spiritual act of acknowledging Jesus’ crucifixion, death and resurrection for the forgiveness of our sins. I am called to the table to lay myself down at his feet, share with him my frailty and seek forgiveness for my sins. I am like the Ethiopian Eunuch; I have come to worship and am moved to read the scripture. It is at this table of Holy Communion that we receive the spirit in yet another way. Go to the table and stay near it!