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May 5, 2024

Expanding the Ends of Our World

Pastor KJ Kim

Acts 8:26-40; Isaiah 53:7-8

In today’s passage, imagine the Ethiopian eunuch--—He is a eunuch, an outsider, a Jew from Ethiopia. He is the official in charge of the queen’s treasure. He is reading the scroll (book of Isaiah) with searching and seeking hope because his life is tough enough, and hunger for a better life.

Phillip hears the eunuch reading Isaiah aloud, so asks him—“Hey there, do you understand what you are reading?” that is the central question. The eunuch responds the way many honest readers of Isaiah 53 have answered—“Well, are you kidding? Explain it to me.”

Then, Philip tells him about the good news--about the release and liberation, healing love released into the world through this single agent, Jesus Christ. Philip tells the eunuch about God who so loves the world. The eunuch well receives Philip’s evangelism and says, “Look water, what would keep me from being baptized?” Yes, the eunuch immerses himself in the good news of Jesus Christ.

Today’s story shows another step forward for the early church—meeting their own end of the world, but stretching and expanding their own end of the world in order to proclaim God’s unconditional love for everyone. Philip could have easily said, “There’s no room in my church for someone like you.”

Consider us in our world today seemingly like a world of fear. —leading us to hide and hunker down and shrink as much as needed—into rejection, division, and discrimination, saying today’s eunuch or those who look or think or believe differently—“Hey there. There’s no room for you here for someone like you.”

Today’s story is not just about the eunuch in ancient times. Rather, this story is about the good news—a transformation story from the world of fear to the world of love. Whom do we see today’s eunuch for us? Where and what is our end of the world? I believe each of us has our own ends of our own world—saying, “This is absolutely not negotiable; if so, my world falls apart.”

In today’s passage, what Philip knows, what the eunuch learned and experienced is that Christ’s love casts out fear; Christ’s love expands and stretches our own ends of the world.

We are Easter people who have power—stretching and expanding and shaking our own ends of the world; going beyond the way of the world, recognizing and welcoming, and caring for today’s eunuch with the power given by the Holy Spirit. We are a church, who are called to reveal what the alternative world may look like. We love others because God first loves others. We welcome and care for others because God first welcomes and cares for others…

Thanks be to God.

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