“We Believe that Baptism” Acts 8:26-39, March 19, 2017

Lenten Candle Extinguishing:          

(2 unlit, 4 lit purple candles)                  The Harris family

 

L1:       Today is the third Sunday in Lent. We remember Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Each week the Light of the World diminishes.

 

L2:       Priests and Levites are sent from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist about his identity.

 

P:         Are you the Messiah? Are you Elijah? Are you the prophet?

 

L1:       John answers, “No, but I am the voice crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”

 

P:         While John was not the light, he came as a witness to testify to the light.

 

L2:       The next day John sees Jesus and declares, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! I saw the Spirit descend on him like a dove; this is the Son of God.”

 

P:         Whoever follows him will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.

 

L1:       Yet this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people love darkness rather than light because they don’t want their evil deeds exposed.

 

P:         He came to his own; his own people did not accept him, and a shadow darkens that light.

 

L2:       (Leading unison prayer): Let us pray in one voice:

 

U:         None of us want a searchlight exposing the secrets of our souls. Yet Jesus promises that everything covered up will be uncovered, all that is hidden will be disclosed, even shouted from rooftops. All our deeds, brought to light? Is it any wonder he wasn’t accepted then, or now? Instead of straightening our ways for the Lord, we often make them crooked, and our shadows darken that light.  (Extinguish candle). Forgive us, O God, in your great mercy. Amen.

 

L:         Let us sing “We Adore You Jesus Christ”

     

SCRIPTURE Acts 8:26-39  

Our reading comes from the book of Acts.

26Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.)
27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship
28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.”
30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.
32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.
33In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”
35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus.
36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”
38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.

Here ends our reading. May God bless our  understanding.

“We Believe that Baptism”

@Copyrighted by Rev. Troy Sybrant Sermon: “We Believe that Baptism” Acts 8:26-39, March 19, 2017

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