30 Running up to the carriage, Philip heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?”
31 The man replied, “Without someone to guide me, how could I?” Then he invited Philip to climb up and sit with him. 32 This was the passage of scripture he was reading:
Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent
so he didn’t open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was taken away from him.
Who can tell the story of his descendants
because his life was taken from the earth?[c]
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? Is he talking about himself or someone else?” 35 Starting with that passage, Philip proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 36 As they went down the road, they came to some water.
The eunuch said, “Look! Water! What would keep me from being baptized?” 38 He ordered that the carriage halt. Both Philip and the eunuch went down to the water, where Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Lord’s Spirit suddenly took Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip found himself in Azotus. He traveled through that area, preaching the good news in all the cities until he reached Caesarea. (Acts 8:30-40, Common English Bible)
I was asked a few weeks back about my favorite part of the job. The person who asked, said, “I know you love to preach and you like everything about preaching. I guess that is your favorite part of being a pastor.”
I do love to preach. I enjoy everything about preaching. I love the research the biblical background. I love to illustrate the sermon. I do usually practice a sermon at least once but I am less crazy about that part since having to actually preach (most recently last Sunday) to an empty room with a camera. It is like another practice session, but its not. That being said, I love the times I get to preach.
I enjoy teaching. I really look forward to the day I can gather with a group of believers from my congregation and with the newly discovered technology tools for ministry we have found during the past year.
I enjoy visiting with people. As a total extrovert, I don’t just want to visit with people, I need those visits. I need those people.
Still, none of those things, a big part of my job though they may be, and as much as I enjoy each of them, they are NOT my favorite part of the job.
My favorite times as a pastor come with administering the Sacraments in general and being the hands God uses as God performs the Sacrament of Baptism. Holy Communion is special and each time the people of Christ gather to receive the Body and Blood, the Bread and Wine, it is a special time.
But, Baptism is different. It is humbling to be a part of this event.
We United Methodists believe that I may say the words in the Sacrament of Baptism, it may be my hands that sprinkle or pour the water, or lower the person in an immersion, but it is God who actually baptizes us.
We also believe that Baptism is done once in a person’s lifetime. Because God is the central actor in Baptism, to baptize a person again would be the same as saying God did not do the baptism correctly the first time so it is now necessary for us to do so again.
I know of nothing that his a greater privilege than to be used by God in this sacred act. Each time I am allowed to be that vessel, I come away knowing I am blessed to serve in this position.
Seeking the Genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
My Best Part of My Job
Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church
Spirit’s Breath Ministries