Scripture: Acts 8:1b-13 (14-24)
Key verses: I invite you to focus today on the strange story of that “certain man” Luke talks about in this text, Simon. (Acts 8:9-24).
Reflection: Simon was an entrepreneur. He had a going business practicing magic, amazing people in the city of Samaria. Simon, with many others, trusted the testimony of Philip who came preaching the gospel in that city, the gospel that God’s reign had come in Jesus the Christ. What that meant for Simon was that the magic business was over. For calling on other spirits to perform his magic was not going to work anymore since he now only trusted the Spirit of God evident in Jesus the Christ.
Simon though remained an entrepreneur. He had an entrepreneurial idea. Watching what happened when the Apostles Peter and John came to Samaria and “laid hands” on the believers there, discovering that as that happened those believers were empowered with the Holy Spirit, he thought, “Wow!” What if he could cash in on that? So he offered Peter and John money saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Crass, we may think. But before we write Simon off, have we ever through we could “market” our Christian faith for our own personal gain? Perhaps we are not ones who put fish symbols on our business cards or websites to attract customers. But are we ones who have used our Christian faith and involvement in the church to build up our resume or open access to business opportunities?
Let’s be easy on Simon and turn around ourselves from using our Christian faith and church participation for our own personal gain.
Prayer: Merciful God, keep us this day from using our trust in Jesus for any purpose save serving you and your purposes alone. We pray in the name of Jesus our savior. Amen.
Author: Pete Peery
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].