. “By The Lord’s Word” Acts 8:26-38

Pastor Tom’s Weekly Blog.                        “By The Lord’s Word”                          Acts 8:26-38

July 14, 2020

“Look, here is water, what is to prevent me from being baptized?”

Acts 8:37

There is a tendency in our world today to make even the simplest concept complicated.  God’s Word revealed through the Bible can be complicated and our understanding of the Word can make witnessing more difficult. The more we “complexify” the Word, the further removed we become from one another and from God.  In Acts 8, a man asked Phillip, an apostle, to help him understand the scripture passage in Isaiah he was reading. As Phillip began to help him understand the text, he listened and quietly pondered what Phillip was saying to him. As time went by on their journey and as the Word of God was absorbed by the man, he saw water and asked a simple yet profound question, “what is to prevent me from being baptized?” The chariot they were riding in came to an abrupt halt and the man was baptized according to the Word that was witnessed to him. God speaks volumes even and especially as we listen quietly, absorbing the incredible grace and power the Word offers.  To be able to fully recognize the voice of God in our lives, it is important to resist the temptation to make this simple word of grace complex. God speaks in a powerfully simple way to strengthen relationships, offering peace, and the cure for a sin-sick soul. When we take the time to quietly listen to the voice of God we begin to understand God’s desire for us is to simply put God first in all that we do, and to be in relationship with others.  In other words, it comes down to this; we are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. God’s Word is simple and to the point, as long as we quietly listen and absorb what is being said to us by God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In a complex world that seems to be more and more complex by the day, there is a simple yet profound alternative; Jesus the Christ. Jesus called “all those who are weary and carrying heavy burdens” and called all people to love their neighbors as themselves, to accept the grace and peace that only comes through our Living Savior.  Society, and the church, has a way of creating mountains of regulations, requirements, and restrictions that keeps us asking why we doing things that just add to the complexity of our lives and takes away our ability to fully be in relationship with our neighbor and with God.  God is speaking to us today to get back down to basics, to quietly discern this Word made flesh through Jesus Christ and how through Christ our complex world can be simplified allowing our weary souls to ask instead of why, why not? Why can I not be baptized? Why can I not live a life of grace and peace and follow the powerful yet simple Word of God, who created with a word and redeemed with the Word? What is preventing me from seeing all people as God’s children, beloved and cherished by God? God is speaking to you today; how are you responding?

Rev. Tom Joyce, pastor

Fields United Methodist Church

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