Thursday, April 30, 2015

Αἰθίοψ εὐνοῦχος

Oh my, I love being alive, my Lord, what a morning! 

Her nets up, a shrimp boat heads in to St. Andrews after the night out, let’s hope she has a good catch. Over near the Pass a research vessel steams out into the Gulf for a busy day’s work at sea. Sure enough, the lights we saw far out last evening are a large ship offshore, probably waiting for clearance to enter port. And the firmament keeps changing colors and hues, and doing the same to my Bay.

Yesterday we had beloveds over for lunch, shrimp rolls made with a large bowl of fresh caught. Rolls left over this morning, breakfast is a sardine roll. Smear of mayonnaise and a smudge of mustard. Cup of hot black. Tasks for today: finish drafting the worship bulletin booklet for Mothers’ Day, work in the attic at my house (with a sales contract and closing set for late May, I need to resume clearing out personal), and decide about Sunday’s sermon, whether to preach graphically about the Ethiopian eunuch or pause coming down the aisle and anoint someone to come up and preach the word to us. 

Homiletics professors at theological seminary advised us not to mix our lessons, that sermon or homily would serve best that worked only one of the day’s four readings, best for hearer and most manageably for preacher. That’s generally been the case, though now and then I’ve stirred two or more. 

What then for Sunday, to do with the Acts 8 reading for Sunday? Luke the apparent author of Acts tells a great story, though Paul’s adventures in Acts don’t always coincide with Paul’s own reports about himself, great stories from start to finish. Sunday’s story is about Αἰθίοψ εὐνοῦχος, whom Ἄγγελος δὲ κυρίου orders Philip out onto a wilderness road to encounter, preach Christ to, and ultimately baptize. What’s the lesson? That we in the church waste time of our lives instructing people in the meanings and nuances of the Holy Mysteries, when all we need is to hear the excited cry, “Ἰδοὺ ὕδωρ,” and down to the stream we run. 

Today is April 30. On this day forty years ago I sat in my exalted fifth floor corner office in CP5 staring across the room as the most ignominious military defeat in history unfolded before my eyes. I think my friend was there, in a warship offshore.

Pax. Bitte, mein Herr, Pax.

Early morn a small ship deploys for her next port.


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