Window Reflection: Week Five of Easter
By Linda Buskirk | April 29, 2018
The window shows Christ blessing the children, the font in which they are made members of his Family, the Church, and the Bible from which they are instructed in his word. The grapes symbolize both the Holy Communion and Christian nurture.
“As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 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 8:36, 38-39
The Ethiopian man in today’s reading from Acts experienced Jesus being faithful to his promise: when you seek, you will find. He was a foreigner in every way when he came to Jerusalem seeking God: gentile, black, probably with quite the accent, and an official with the ruling government of a distant country.
On his way back home to Ethiopia, the man continued seeking the God claimed by Jews as the only God, scouring Scripture to learn more. Such earnest seeking is an act of prayer. In answer, God sent Philip into the man’s path. Philip shared the Good News of Jesus Christ as redeemer of all. To paraphrase the man’s response: “Well, stop the carriage and baptize me, I have found what I was seeking!”
The man was so excited about finding Jesus Christ that he went home rejoicing. Rejoicing rarely happens in silence. He likely shared the joy, peace and truth he found. Legend has it that this man was responsible for spreading the Gospel in northern Africa.
Many people believe. What caused the Ethiopian man to rejoice and proclaim his newfound knowledge and belief? I think the answer is gratitude.
In gratitude, he moved beyond the question of, “Is this all there is?” to, “I have found more than I could have ever imagined!” In gratitude, he rejoiced that the one true God loved HIM so much that he was no longer outside looking in. In gratitude, he shouted, Alleluia – I am worthy and so are you!”
In his baptism, the Ethiopian sets an example of how we are to live into our own Baptismal Covenant: to share by word and example the Good News of Jesus Christ.
This Easter season, let us seek a deeper understanding of God’s abundance in our lives. When we find it, let us respond in gratitude, rejoicing!