Is it easier to share your faith or chocolate?

Acts 8. 26-40

Philip and the Ethiopian

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert
Philip and the Ethiopian
road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”[
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they travelled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and travelled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Is it easier to share your faith or chocolate?

Philip was one of Jesus’ disciples.  He was chosen by Jesus and after Jesus died he continued his ministry and told people about Jesus wherever he went.  Philip was led by the Holy Spirit to the eunuch. The Eunuch was an important official.

In the time of Philip those that worked for kings or queens were not allowed to have children especially those that looked after the money.  They thought that if you didn’t have children then you wouldn’t be tempted to steal. So, this important official from Ethiopia would have decided that he wanted an important job more than children.

We don’t know the man’s name but we do know that he was reading the scripture and was a bit confused.  So, it was Philip’s job to explain the reading, explaining about Jesus the Son of God, about his death and resurrection.  Probably explaining about Baptism as well, which is why he stopped the chariot when he saw the river, and wanted to be baptised as well to show that he believed in Jesus, and wanted to become a follower as well.  His baptism filled him with joy, and he continued his journey after Philip left him rejoicing.

Philip also continued on his journey, preaching the Gospel as he went.
Part of our calling as Christians is to tell people about Jesus, which isn’t an easy job.  A lot of people these days don’t want to know.  The official wanted to know which made Philip’s job easier in explaining the Gospel. His heart was already open to hearing about Jesus. 

If I had a very large bar of chocolate is would be easy to share, people like chocolate, it makes them feel good.  Friends would be asking can I have some. 

But when it comes to sharing our faith it’s a lot more difficult. 

Many people today are closed to hearing about Jesus if you start preaching at them they shut off.  But if we go along to church and enjoy it, that in itself will draw people to wanting to know more.  Explain to the children that evangelism is about sharing your faith with others.  This is what Philip was doing, sharing his faith and this can be done in many ways.  

If you enjoy hearing the stories, making things, playing games – tell people and then they will want to come along too.  If it makes a difference in your life – share that with people.  If your faith brings you peace when you should be feeling turmoil others will notice and want to know why.  If you have made a decision to be confirmed, share it with your class, invite them. 

Other ways of sharing your faith – is by putting the kindness of God into action by caring for others.  These are all ways of sharing your faith, and I am sure you can think of many more. 

Make something today to share with others, cakes, biscuits, cards, if there is a confirmation or baptism coming up make cards to invite others and pray that the Holy Spirit will prompt people to ask ‘why?’.

Or start up a church football team and join in playing games with other teams. 

Have a church treasure hunt around where you live.  You never know people might ask – what are they doing? Why?

This webpage has lots of ideas, making chariots, colouring pages, puzzles and other things. 

Have fun thinking of different ways of sharing your faith and ‘rejoice in the Lord always'

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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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