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The Rev. Anthony Robinson The Rev. Anthony Robinson
The Rev. Anthony Robinson is a minister in the United Church of Christ, author of 12 books, and president of Congregational Leadership Northwest in Seattle, WA.

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Tony Robinson: Get Up and Go

February 01, 2014

"Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Get up and go . . .'" - Acts 8:26 

The Book of Acts features some of the Bible's best stories. Today's scripture comes from one, the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, found in Acts 8: 26 - 40. 

Reading this story, it's hard not to notice just how much action there is. Moreover, it is the Holy Spirit who drives most of the action. 

First, the Spirit commanded Philip, one of the church's newly called deacons, to "Get up and go." Philip was sent out into the desert. Once there the Spirit instructed Philip to intercept a passing chariot. 

Inside the chariot was -- of all people -- an Ethiopian, who though powerful (an official of the royal court) was humble enough to seek guidance to understand the Scripture he was reading. With Philip's help he discovered that he was not cut off from God or God's people. Just the opposite -- courtesy of Jesus. He's so excited that when he spotted a waterhole alongside the road, he exclaimed to Philip, "Baptize me!" The chariot slammed to a halt and they immediately made for the water. 

After they both burst up out of the water dripping wet, "the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away," while the Ethiopian continued on his journey . . . rejoicing. 

Words to describe this story might be "fast-paced, explosive, full of action." Stuff happens. People "get up and go." God is active. The Spirit sends, directs and "snatches." 

Somehow the words "fast-paced, explosive, full of action" aren't always the first to come to mind when I think "church." But part of the intent of the Book of Acts is to usher us into an imaginative world where stuff happens, where the Spirit is alive and we are too.* Could we maybe just entertain the possibility of the church as "fast-paced, explosive, full of action"? Imagine that today the Spirit will say to you, "Get up and go." 

Prayer 
Living and active God, grant me hears to hear your word, to hear when you say to me, "Get up and go." Amen. 

For more on the Book of Acts, consider the God Is Still Speaking Bible Study: The Book of Acts.

 

Taken with permission from the UCC's StillSpeaking devotionals. Visit UCC.org


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