The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Acts 8:4-8 continues telling us about those who were scattered from Jerusalem in the persecution following Stephen’s death. Here, Philip, one who was selected in Acts chapter 6 to care for widows, is bearing witness boldly to Jesus. He is healing and doing other miracles.
We notice that he is in a city in Samaria. This should remind us that in Acts 1:8 Jesus says his people will be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the world. The work of the Holy Spirit through his people has entered its second phase.
Like Philip, we can ask that the Holy Spirit would speak through us to our community, wherever it is. As he brings people to forgiveness and new life, he is certainly doing a miracle that nobody else could do. In some instances he does miracles which can be readily recognized as miracles. In some instances, probably most, he does miracles which are less clear. For instance, he blesses his people with generosity, with kindness, with a forgiving attitude toward others. These are miraculous as well.
What is the result of this work of Christian ministry? The city was filled with great joy. May the Lord use each of us to bring joy to our world.
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