Belonging to God and Each Other

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Believing to Belong

Read Acts 8:26-39

Think. The early church was an assembled collection of people who did not necessarily have a common heritage or ethnicity. The writings in the book of Acts report stories of the experiences of this new faith community. The intent was to bring together this disparate group around a common goal of living to share Jesus’s love in words and actions.

It was an unusual trip. Nothing about the eunuch’s encounter with Philip happens by accident. The eunuch was headed to his home in Ethiopia from worshiping in Jerusalem. Philip was inspired by the eunuch’s deep devotion to the God of Israel. But inspiration alone was not enough, he was searching for understanding.

In the queen’s court, the eunuch was privileged with a position and the resources to travel. But he was still an outsider in the Jerusalem temple.

God’s Spirit nudged Philip to travel the wilderness road. Philip meets the eunuch along the way; he helps him understand the scriptures and explains to him the news of Jesus’s self-giving love. When the eunuch sees water and asks to be baptized, Philip honors his request. Philip embraces and includes the eunuch in the community of Jesus’s followers.

  • Who is missing from or left out of your groups and friendship circles? 
  • Who do you need to include and welcome as Jesus welcomed others?

Pray. Help me welcome others as You have welcomed me, Gracious  God—with an open heart and open arms. Amen.

Act. Intentionally reach out with God’s love today to someone you might otherwise be tempted to exclude or disregard. Make a note of your experience.