So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8:30-31)
St. Philip was listening to the Ethiopian eunuch, a royal official, read aloud in his chariot. He could read the words, but could he understand them? “How can I, unless someone guides me?”
God does not call us to faith all by ourselves. He reveals His righteousness “from faith to faith,” from the Gospel preached by some sinners to be heard by other sinners who in turn speak what they have believed.
He therefore gives us the Scriptures, that we may hear the prophets and apostles bearing their witness; and He gives us teachers, that we may read, know, and inwardly digest this witness; and He gives us each other to confess, sing, and pray this word together and for our neighbors. By revealing Himself in words, God chose to reveal Himself in a Church, a fellowship of speakers and listeners.
As God said in the beginning, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). He speaks not only to be heard, but also to gather, setting His newborn children within a communion that not even hell can quiet.
LET US PRAY: Speak, O Lord, and I will listen; and whenever I don’t listen, please forgive me, and speak again; through Jesus, the Word-made-flesh. Amen
Pastor Steven K. Gjerde