Tena koutou, and greetings church family.
Yesterday Felicity and I visited some friends in Omokoroa and then took the ferry across to Matakana Island. This was the first for us as we often talked about Matakana Island while walking up the summit of Mt Maunganui.
Most travellers were in their cars, however on the return trip there were five of us standing on the deck enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the inlet as the ferry moved smoothly through the waters back to Omokoroa.
One the passengers in the cars recognised me from our Community lunches. He called out “hey Pastor – you from that church in the city” I replied ‘yes’ and he came over and we started to talk about our families and what we were doing.
He shared with me from the Word For Today how he was learning about encouragement, love and patience and that his whanau were also involved with church. He was returning from visiting families on the island and asked what I was doing on the ferry.
I told him that this was the first time my wife and I had taken the ferry across and I was having a break with her on my day off. I shared with him what was going on at church and that I really enjoyed the community lunch on Tuesday mornings and connecting with the people there. I loved the friendship and comradeship being created while having a meal together. He also enjoyed the fellowship and appreciated the hot meal. We chatted some more and I ended by asking him if he would mind me praying for Him. He said he would like that and we shared in prayer. What a moment! Praying on a ferry for a person in need.
This was a moment I was not anticipating, but it happened. A moment in time to grab, an opportunity that probably happens to most of us – to share the good news in our everyday conversation. I was reminded of the need to be ‘ready on the spot’ to talk about God’s grace and goodness and to share about who we are and the presence of God in our lives.
This reminds me of the story about Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-40.
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert 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……………………
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?” 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised 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.
This week can I encourage you to be ‘ready on the spot’ to share Gods’ love. Opportunities come in surprising ways, like on a ferry or walking along the road…