Our hearts are grieving this week as we reflect on the tragic shooting and murder of nine Christian believers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. We will have a time of reflection and prayer in both of our services on Sunday. However, we will still meet together to worship King Jesus as we recognize how He remains sovereign over all things. The text for this week is on Philip the Evangelist. He lived his life as if he was not promised tomorrow, which is very appropriate for us to think about in light of Wednesday’s tragedy. Philip shared Jesus with so many people that his community gave him a nickname that effectively portrayed his heart.
For Sunday: Read and meditate on this week’s passage (Acts 8:4-13):
4 Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. 6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city. 9 But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Ask the Lord to prepare your heart as you enter into corporate worship tomorrow. Let your emotions of mourning, grief, sadness, and even joy spill out into your worship as you praise the name of Jesus for the fact that His love never fails and that you are an eternal recipient of his amazing grace.