Sunday, June 21: Family of God
In Acts 8, an Ethiopian eunuch is journeying home after worshipping at the temple in Jerusalem. We are not told the specifics of his experience in Jerusalem, but given his ethnicity and status (a eunuch), it probably would not have been good. Gentiles had limited access to worship. Eunuchs were also impeded.
After responding to the preaching of Philip the Evangelist along the road, the eunuch asks him, “What prevents me from being baptized?” We hear in this question echoes of disappointment in Jerusalem. The color of his skin had prevented access to the temple. His body prevented access to the temple. What would prevent worship this time?
Surprisingly—nothing! And when the Ethiopian eunuch turned to Jesus, a black man became the first non-Jewish convert to Christianity. The church had become a multi-ethnic movement!
This week we are launching a three-week miniseries called Family of God. In it, we will be discussing the problems of racism and injustice, along with the church’s role in promoting reconciliation in our world.
With the acceptance of the Ethiopian eunuch, the church began to reframe what it meant to be the people of God. Brotherhood and sisterhood were no longer based on being sons and daughters of Abraham, but rather on the image of God in us all based on our common descent from Adam.
This Sunday we are going to look at Genesis 1:26–28 to discover the image of God in all of us and talk about what this means for how we treat one another.
See you then!