SERMON TITLE: “Acts of the Spirit: Guidance of the Spirit”
SERMON TEXT: Acts 8:14-17, 25-40
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: June 27, 2021 (151st Anniversary), at First UMC
A few evenings ago, my husband and I watched a movie in which one of the characters decided she really needed to go on a vacation. She was interested in international travel, but had to decide which country to visit. So she said, “Well, I speak English, so where do the people speak English?” Just that quickly, she immediately settled on England. Some of us, faced with such an opportunity for world travel, might be a little more adventuresome and consider more options. But, eventually, some criteria, desire, value, or principle would shape and guide our decision.
In today’s scripture reading, the guiding principle was the Holy Spirit. Over the past six weeks, as we’ve been working our way through the chapters of Acts, we’ve seen over and over again how the Holy Spirit was active among the earliest Christians, shaping and influencing what happened. In the first chapter, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to his successors in ministry. The Holy Spirit then empowered them with wind, fire, and languages so they could be witnesses of the Spirit. They received the gift of the Spirit and proclaimed the message of the Spirit. Last week, we saw how the gospel was spread by fathers of the Spirit. Now, today, as we’re reading from Acts 8, we see the Holy Spirit on a whirlwind tour, moving the gospel from place to place and farther and farther from Jerusalem. So let’s consider what’s happening with Peter, John, Philip, and the Ethiopian eunuch—to see how we too can receive and share the guidance of the Spirit.