Philip the deacon seems to have been a particularly successful evangelist. Perhaps because he himself was a Greek-speaking Jew of the Diaspora (like his namesake Philip the apostle), he was more familiar with the Gentile world. When his fellow-deacon Stephen was martyred, Philip, like most of the Jerusalem Christian community, fled the city for safety (Acts 8:1). Whether by chance or divine design (one suspects the latter) he ended up in Samaria, whose people were heretics and pagans to the orthodox Jew. Perhaps Philip had heard the story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman; in any case he was emulating Jesus’ compassion and love for the despised and marginalised. As a result, his preaching to them of the Christian message, in word and deed, brought about their baptism.
Something of his evangelising technique is demonstrated later in the same chapter (Acts 8:26-40) in his encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch. Just as he “happened” to go to the Samaritans, so Philip “happened” to be walking the road south from Jerusalem to Gaza when a chariot passed by. To be fair, it was an angel who gave him the tip-off. But who was the angel?
The pagan African official from the margins of the known world “happened” to be reading the prophet Isaiah aloud as he rode along. There were questions he wanted to ask about what he was reading, and there was Philip on hand to answer them, right on cue. It led ultimately to the baptism of Ethiopia.
Being there when we are needed, being ready to answer an enquirer’s questions, being aware of the opportunities God is giving us – all these are hallmarks of the evangelist. Where will you “happen” to be when, in the least promising of circumstances, God wants an angel?
Use this website to learn a little about John Glynn and his recordings and to obtain his recordings
and his songbook.. 10% of every CD and Songbook sold goes to CAFOD. So far, we have donated
£4,672.35 to CAFOD.
CAFOD is the official overseas aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and is
part of the Caritas International Federation. Registered Charity No. 285766
ALL CONTENT AND IMAGES COPYRIGHT 1990-2009 AQUILA MUSIC TRUST [UNLESS
NO COPYING BY ANY MEANS WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION
WEBSITE DESIGN COPYRIGHT 2010 1STOPWEBS