Thursday, May 14, 2009

God Provides

Our verse for this week is from Ephesians 2:
By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, lest anyone should boast.

Pastor has been persisting in asking what the that refers to. Answer: and that faith is not of yourselves. Even faith is a gift of God, and not something we do.

Similarly, I noticed something in Sunday's [3-year] reading from Acts. The story is about Philip preaching to the Ethiopian eunuch. The story starts off with an odd little geographical detail about where the story was happening and tells us "This is desert." Those kinds of details aren't put into the Bible just to satisfy our curiosity or give us an education about Social Studies.

I think a person could make an analogy to the unbeliever being in a wilderness or desert. But what I'm noticing is more direct -- there isn't water in a desert. Luke makes sure to tell us upfront that Philip and the Ethiopian are in a waterless place. And yet, eventually they come upon water, and the Ethiopian requests baptism. Not only did God create faith where there was none (as Paul tells us in this week's Bible verse) but also God ensured that there was water in that desert so that His sacrament could be administered.

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