CANDACE, QUEEN OF THE ETHIOPIANS
with Rev. Rachel
27 CANDACE, QUEEN OF THE ETHIOPIANS Acts 8
Much is inside out and upside down, here. Head into this text like you would the Tilt-A-Whirl and I’ll pray this time: God grant us something other than nausea.
First of all, Candace can’t be a biblical name. Candace, queen of the Ethiopians— what I else have I missed?
About this ride and rider: It couldn’t have been normal for treasury department officials to go to Jerusalem for the day “to worship”. Via chariot? All that talk of Jesus and the disciples walking from town to town…guess I lost sight of the fact that people did have wheels.
“So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah.” He heard him. The one doing the reading was traveling solo. But Philip, who had to run to get close, could hear him.
How in the heck did this reading-out-loud-for-nobody character get his hands on a copy of the Book of Isaiah? This is pre-Bible, y’all. Scrolls weren’t tossed to the masses.
Moving along, if Philip is taking orders from an angel and the Spirit…that’s a lot. I have a hard time pleasing one entity. And if the Spirit really snatched Philip away after Philip proved obedient, well, that’s not very nice.
Tell me, when’s the last time the preacher preached Azotus? I must’ve missed that Sunday. It sounds like the name of a local spa and/or Chinese restaurant.
In case it is hard to tell, there’s no resentment in my voice. I am profoundly grateful for a tradition that escapes mastery. Sweet are the moments that Scripture throws us for a loop.
I cherish the thought of promising two babies and three adults this Sunday that I will be faithful to the family that tells these sorts of stories over supper. And I love the fact that ministry often means reasonable, sensible people with ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ written all over their faces.
Friends, we are people of Word and Table. Feast on~