Today in the life of the church we celebrate the life of St. Philip. Instead of the gospel passage assigned for Philip’s feast day (Matthew 28:18-20) I would like us to think a bit about the collect for today:
“Holy God, no one is excluded from your love, and your truth transforms the minds of all who seek you: As your servant Philip was led to embrace the fullness of your salvation and to bring the stranger to Baptism, so give us all the grace to be heralds of the Gospel, proclaiming your love in Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
In particular, I wonder how and when we are given God’s, “grace to be heralds of the Gospel?” What are the moments when we could be called to change someone’s life by talking about the love of God incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ? That sounds like a mouthful to say doesn’t it? And, maybe those are the words YOU might choose to talk about God’s love for us–and that’s great–go with the words that are authentic to you and how you feel about your relationship with the God who loves you.
It seems to me that when I’ve had moments to talk about my faith–with a random co-worker, or a fellow parishioner, or even a stranger standing in line at the grocery store (all of which were conversations that just seemed to present themselves, before I discerned a call to ordained ministry)–that God was opening the door for me to have a Philip moment. I think these moments happen more than we realize and if we have the courage to be like Philip and engage the “stranger” who asks us about the bible, our faith, what we believe, etc. etc. that we will have an opportunity to change that person’s life.
Maybe we won’t be able to claim that from our one conversation we spread so much Good News that the person with whom we were talking demands to be baptized on the spot, but we will be spreading more of the Gospel than if we simply stand there and say nothing at all. You don’t have to worry about what to say–say what you believe; say what you know about your faith; say what moves you and talk from your heart. God will take care of the rest…God always does.
In Christ’s name,