Scripture: Acts 8:26-40
Key verses: (29-31) Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30 So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.
Reflection: In reading this passage, I wonder what it means to “guide” someone in their faith journey. Does it invite us to consider sitting beside others as they do the hard work of faith? This week, I am grateful for our adult leaders who are being “guides” for middle school youth. They are spending 24 hours in the Heifer Project International Global Village and will need some guidance to understand the experience. I also am grateful for the people in our everyday life who walk beside us as we read scripture, ask questions and raise our doubts.
Looking into what it means to “guide”, I found that the Greek word, hodegeo, is used only four other places in the New Testament. Twice, in Luke and Matthew, it is used in variations of the idiom “the blind leading the blind.” I love this phrase because we are always looking for an expert when in reality, we might be the perfect guide. The Greek word for guide also gets used in the gospel of John in reference to the Holy Spirit. Late in Jesus’ ministry, as he says goodbye, Jesus promises his disciples another advocate, the Spirit, who will guide (hodegeo) them into all truth.
As a guide, the Spiritual work we are called to do, is to lead others in the Way of Jesus. This assumes that we are disciples on this journey of faith. It assumes that we are growing in our faith and in our understanding of the Gospel in order to teach others. It assumes, more than anything else, that we will be guided by the Holy Spirit, as was the case for Philip. May we all be open to being a guide on this journey of faith.
Prayer: God, may your holy spirit guide me today and every day. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[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].