R U M O R S # 551
Ralph Milton’s E-zine for people of faith with a sense of humor
May 3, 2009
COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES
"A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones." (Proverbs 17:22 KJV)
I really appreciate your contributions. I don’t expect you to keep track of what has already been on Rumors. That’s my job.
So if you have a story or a blooper or an anecdote or whatever that you think might fit in Rumors, please send it to me. I can’t promise to answer every e-mail, but I do appreciate every one of them. Send them to: email@example.com . And please put something like “Rumors contribution” on the “content” line so that my enthusiastic spam filter doesn’t get you.
Also please include your name and where you are from. Folks like to know.
The Story – reaching way, way out
Rumors – try harder
Soft Edges – cultivate your friendships
Good Stuff – Jesus loves me
Bloopers – serviving
We Get Letters – a fiendishly profound question
Mirabile Dictu! – amazing face
Bottom of the Barrel – a stewardship story
Scripture Story as Reader’s Theatre – Acts 8:26-40
Stuff – (read this only if you would like to subscribe, unsubscribe or are wondering about permissions. That sort of boring stuff.)
Rib Tickler – This from Phil Gilman of Dunnellon, Florida.
One day God was looking down at earth and saw all of the selfish behavior that was going on. So God called one of the angels. “Go down to earth. Find out what is going on.” The angel returned and reported to God. “Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.”
God thought for a moment, and then decided to get a second opinion. So a second angel was sent.
The angel returned and went directly to God. “Yes, it's true. The World is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good.” God was not pleased. “I will send an e-mail to the 5% who are good. I want to encourage them, and help them keep going. The future of the world depends on them.”
Do you know what the e-mail said?
You mean, you didn’t get that e-mail either?
Next Week’s Readings – These are the readings you may hear in church this coming Sunday, May 10th, which is the 5th Sunday of Easter.
The Story (from the Revised Common Lectionary) is Acts 8:26-40 – the story of the Ethiopian eunuch.
Ralph says –
It’s interesting that this story gets so much ink in Acts. It’s a very early story of direct evangelism to someone from outside the Hebrew community. Philip gets a direct command from an angel, and so it is that the Ethiopian is one of the first baptized non-Hebrew Christians.
But think of this. He is a foreigner. He is black.
And he is castrated. In Hebrew eyes, he was an incomplete male and therefore excluded from the sacred assembly (Deut. 23:1) because he couldn’t beget children.
It’s not important to dig through volumes of commentaries to find out exactly what being Ethiopian and a eunuch implied to the early church. It is important to hear the story and let it do its work.
My meditation on this legend led me to write my own version of the story (see Rumors below). The details are purely imaginative.
Jim says –
John 15 has a powerful metaphor; Acts 8 has a story. Guess which one I’d choose to preach on...
According to the scholars, there were two Philips. The first had a bit part in the gospels. He’s probably best known for introducing Nathaniel to the living Jesus. He also asks Jesus some leading questions, elsewhere.
The second Philip is probably a Greek convert, mentioned next after Stephen (in Acts 6:5). He’s as enthusiastic about his new cause as someone who just quit smoking. This passage gives us the formula for evangelism.
First, you have to be there. You can sanction nations at a distance. You can bomb them into submission at a distance. But you have to be there in person to convert them.
Second, they have to be interested. Simply waving a “John 3:16” placard ain’t gonna cut it – unless someone wants to know more.
Third, you have to be willing to teach. God will not provide instant understanding; the evangelist has a responsibility too. That obligates us, too, to be well-informed, and theologically literate.
Fourth, we must be ready to act. Perhaps in unprecedented ways. Because Peter, the presumed leader of the church, had not yet had his dream that provided a rationale for allowing non-Jews into the Christian fold (Acts 10). Presumably, the 3,000 baptized at Pentecost were all already acceptable – Jews and proselytes (note Acts 2:10, 22).
Philip broke the rules. I wonder how often we fail to reach out, because we expect to do things in the traditional pattern, because we stick to the church’s rule book, because we’re afraid to try new things...
Psalm 22:25-31 – paraphrased by Jim Taylor
Growing and Changing
Each of us has had mentors, elders who led us along for our own sakes.
25 I owe everything to you;
whatever I am, you made me.
I will not tolerate petty criticism of you.
26 You are always fair and impartial;
you never play favorites.
You treat incompetents with the same consideration as geniuses.
27 That is why you are so widely respected.
28 That is why people trust your wisdom and insight.
29 You show me what God must be like.
For God does not send rain only to the just,
nor sunshine only to the successful.
All have equal access to God's grace,
regardless of wealth or status.
30 So your name will be honored in history;
in times to come, people will speak well of you.
31 They will still say, "I owe everything to you."
From: Everyday Psalms
Wood Lake Publications.
For details, go to www.woodlakebooks.com
1 John 4:7-21 – I am sure this passage must have been central to the thinking of my friend, the 14th century mystic, Julian of Norwich. After much wrestling, she finally comes down to the thought that there is only one thing you can say about God.
God is love.
That’s it. Nothing more and nothing less.
And being a theologian, she then went on to write a book about that insight. For Julian, the implications are huge. It means that it is impossible to live outside the love of God. Unaware of God’s love – sure. But never outside of it. Here’s what she says:
“Would you know our Lord’s meaning in all this?
Learn it well.
Love was the meaning.
Who showed it to you?
What did God show you?
Why did God show it to you?
Hold fast to this and you shall learn
and know more about love.
But you shall never learn anything
except love from God.”
(my translation from “The Essence of Julian”)
John 15:1-8 – I’ll not soon forget the day Sax Koyama pruned my fruit trees. He lost patience with me and my timid pruning. When he finished, my half-dozen trees looked desperately naked. And there were prunings all over my little orchard. I was convinced my trees would never recover.
But that summer they produced the best, the sweetest, the largest, the most fruit ever. Sadly, Sax died in a tragic accident soon after that. And I could never be quite as aggressive or as skilled when I did the pruning.
When we’re thinking of the pruning metaphor in this passage, it’s not a bit of timid snipping the writer is talking about. The pruning that produces good fruit is aggressive and comprehensive. Every branch is pruned and pruned hard.
I find it quite uncomfortable to think what that implies for me. For my church.
There’s a children’s version of “The Ethiopian Eunuch” story (see below) on page 110 of “The Lectionary Story Bible, Year B.” And “Big Juicy Grapes,” a children’s version of the gospel reading (John 15:1-8) is on page 113.
I’ve had a number of responses to the letter I published a month or so ago about a congregation’s creative use of this resource. They had the custom of a children’s lector reading the first scripture lesson before the children left for Sunday School. They decided that the child lector would read the children’s version from The Lectionary Story Bible, and then the adult lector would read the same lesson but from the regular Bible.
The folks writing said they had done this with great success, not because of what it did for the children, although they listened much more attentively. But for what it did for the adults. “It really helps them understand the scripture,” said one writer from Montreal.
If you don’t have this resource, click the main Wood Lake Publications website at www.woodlakebooks.com, or click on the following address which takes you directly to the “Lectionary Story Bible.”
A CLARIFICATION: I commented last week that because of the disappearance of outlets for main-line religious books, Wood Lake Publications would no longer do books.
This is true. However, they will continue to publish “Seasons of the Spirit,” “The Whole People of God,” and other assorted congregational resources.
Rumors – The Ethiopian Eunuch
An aggadah based on Acts 8:26‑40
© Ralph Milton
If I had chosen my own name, it would be something that means, "try harder." Because that's what I've been telling myself, my whole life. "Try harder! Harder!"
I didn't get to choose what I would be. When I was a child, my parents had me castrated. They weren't being mean. They were trying to guarantee me a place in life – work in the royal palace where they hired castrated men to guard the harem.
So I'm grateful to them – and I'm angry at them. I hate them for it. Because when teen age came along and my friends found their voices dropping and their parents talking marriage, my voice stayed high and my parents said, "No, you cannot be married. You are different.
And my friends snickered at me and taunted me. "Yoooo‑nuck! Yoooo‑nuck!" The only thing I knew was to try harder, to be a better scholar, to excel at everything – more capable, more responsible. I was a model teenager.
It worked. I went to work as a guard in the harem, as my parents had arranged, and soon I was chief guard. Before I knew it, I was Chancellor of the Treasury. But it was never enough. People feared me, but nobody loved me. I seldom got invited to social functions, but when I did, the men, especially, found me embarrassing. They would avoid me, if at all possible. Sometimes I caught snippets of conversation like "half a man," and "He's a freak."
So I tried even harder. I worked all the time.
The Queen sent me on diplomatic missions to Egypt, to the Nabateans, to Damascus. Each place I went, I learned everything I could, especially about their gods. But there was no god anywhere for half a man like me. A eunuch.
The Queen sent me to Jerusalem on diplomatic business, and there I visited the Hebrew Temple, a magnificent place. I read their scrolls that told me of a god who led a people out of slavery, a very different kind of god who at times seemed to love – to actually love people.
They have a most unusual prophet, the Hebrew people – a prophet named Isaiah.
I bought the scroll and took it with me. The priest who sold the scrolls had to check with his council to see if it was legal to sell a Hebrew scroll to a black man. It was, provided the black man paid three times the going price. I paid. I wanted that scroll.
This Isaiah seemed to prophesy a ruler, a leader who was a servant, a leader who earned the right to lead through suffering with the hurting people of the world. A most unusual prophet, but I found my heart warmed as I read his scroll. I too had suffered, far more than I admitted even to myself. Yes, I was strong and I was powerful, but I was only half a man.
On my way home, as my carriage bumped along the road, I was reading out the scroll. "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer."
I had to laugh. That was me all right. I was six weeks old when they cut me. You can't protest when you're six weeks old. I read on. "In his humiliation, justice was denied him." Is this Isaiah talking about me or what?
At that point I looked up and saw a man walking along beside my carriage. He was smiling at me.
"Do you understand what you are reading?" he asked.
"No," I said. "I haven't the faintest idea what this is about. Do you'?"
"Yes," said the man. So I invited him up into the carriage. His name was Philip.
"Who is this Isaiah talking about?" I asked. "Is he talking about himself? About someone else? It almost seems as if he is talking about me!"
"May I tell you a story?" Philip asked. Then for an hour or two or three – I have no idea how long – he talked about a man named Jesus – a prophet from a little jerkwater town who seemed to reach out and touch all the hurting people – tax collectors, prostitutes, widows, lepers, foreigners.
"They killed him," said Philip. ''They accused him of sedition. He was crucified.”
“I’m not surprised." I said.
I felt sad. But it was not the end of the story. Not by a long shot.
And so he talked some more, about a resurrected Jesus, a Jesus who it turns out is the Messiah – the chosen one this Isaiah was talking shout – one who came to save the weak and the lost – the people nobody else cared about.
I asked. "Would Jesus care about me?"
"Of course," said Philip.
"Did you know that I'm a eunuch?"
"I guessed. But why should that make a difference?"
"I'm black. I'm a foreigner. But I am successful, and I am rich."
"That's all obvious," Philip laughed. "But again, why should that make a difference. Jesus loves you. He doesn't care about your genitals, or about your skin color, or about your nationality. Jesus especially doesn't give a hoot if you're rich or successful. Jesus loves you."
It took me almost an hour to stop sobbing. I felt as if a huge, heavy load had been lifted from my shoulders and tossed over onto the roadside. Now I could stop trying harder and harder. I could stop struggling. I was a real man, a real man because I was loved by a real man named Jesus who lived and died and rose again and danced among his people.
Our carriage was moving past a wadi full of recent winter rains. "There's water there, Philip. Can I be baptized?"
"Yes," said Philip. "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Philip held me under that water for an eternity, it seemed. But it was a glorious eternity, in which my old self dissolved into the water And when he raised me up, I knew I was a brand new person – a whole person.
I stood there in the warm, spring sunshine, thanking this new God that I had found, this God who sent such a warm, accepting Messiah. And I knew that everything had changed. I was a different kind of being. Yes, it was the same body I had been so ashamed of. But I wasn't ashamed anymore, because I knew God loved this body of mine, loved all of me. Unconditionally. Even if I didn't try harder.
"Thank you Philip," I said. But when I looked around, he wasn't there. I looked down the road in both directions. He was gone.
But it didn't matter. I bounced back onto my carriage. "Hurry up, folks. Let's get home as fast as we can. I've got some wonderful news to tell everyone back home!'
Soft Edges – by Jim Taylor
Cultivate Your Friendships
An Australian study has found that friendship can be good for your health.
Surely we all know that already, don’t we?
Well, maybe we do, but we don’t always act on what we know.
The Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 per cent less likely to die during the 10-year study period than those with fewer friends. Similarly, the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that social integration – a fancy phrase for having a circle of friends – delayed memory loss among elderly Americans. Among the least integrated, memory declined at twice the rate as among the most integrated.
Unfortunately, friendship – like the late Rodney Dangerfield – don’t get no respect.
In general, the role of friendship in our lives isn’t well appreciated, said Rebecca G. Adams, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Theres scads of stuff on families and marriage, but very little on friendship.
Adams suggested that friendship may have greater influence on our health than family relationships do.
I suspect friendships may also have an effect on others. The most common description of mass killers in the U.S. – from Columbine to Oklahoma City to Binghampton – is that the killer was a loner, a man who kept to himself.
An article in “Utne Reader” magazine tried to define the characteristics of a friend. A friend, it said, listens but never judges, helps you out of a jam, tells it to you straight, and often forgives a debt. Those debts may not be monetary as friends do not keep score of favours given and received.
There is a tendency these days, in world affairs, to equate friendship with conformity. Compliance. An uncritical falling in line.
Friends, married couples, close associates, can speak truth to each other without destroying the relationship. To urge a friend to quit smoking is not being disloyal. To caution an associate against questionable sales techniques is not betrayal.
The late John Macmurray, a British philosopher who died in 1967, did some insightful BBC radio talks. One of them dealt with friendship.
A dominant theme of the Christian gospels, Macmurray noted, was the Kingdom of God. But it had contradictory premises. On the one hand, it was already among us. On the other hand, people should watch for it. It could come at any time, unexpectedly.
Exploring this apparent contradiction, Macmurray observed that Jesus always spoke about familiar experiences. He rarely dealt with abstract hypotheses. He certainly did not venture into science fiction.
So, Macmurray asked, what is there that we are familiar with already, but that could happen anytime? His answer was friendship. Everyone has known friendship. Most of us have at least one close friend. And yet friendship can blossom unexpectedly, unpredictably.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful, Macmurray suggested, if we could treat everyone we encountered as a friend? Or at least, as a possible friend? And could there be a better Kingdom of God than a world in which all were friends to each other?
Good Stuff – Bob Reiff of Tucson, Arizona, says this has been around for some time. But for those of us who are feeling our age a bit, It’s good to hear the story again and do this bit of reading and singing. And, for those who are preaching on it, the story fits in well with the epistle.
The story has been attributed to the famed Swiss theologian, Karl Barth. I had an unhappy experience with old Karl while taking a Systematic Theology (an oxymoron!) course at Union Seminary in New York. His “Epistle to the Romans” runs to many volumes and is full if impenetrable Teutonic prose.
But he was redeemed for me when he was asked to summarize his theology. He is reputed to have said, “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”
Here’s the story, more or less as Bob sent it to me.
He was 92 years old. And he was invited to preach an anniversary service. People in the pews were restless, wondering what the hoary old clergyman might do. Would he drop dead in mid-sermon? Would he go on and on and on?
Slowly he made his way forward. He had no notes in his hand. He steadied himself on the pulpit.
"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you about the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials – the one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me.
"Jesus loves me this I know.
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong,
we are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me...
the Bible tells me so."
Bob then adds a senior’s version of that old hymn. It’s also been around for a long time, but offers a good chuckle and a few insights.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
though my hair is white as snow
though my sight is growing dim,
still he bids me trust in him.
(Chorus) Yes Jesus loves me . . .etc.
Though my steps are oh, so slow,
with my hand in his I'll go
On through life, let come what may,
he'll be there to lead the way.
When the nights are dark and long,
in my heart he puts a song.
telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear, for I am near."
Bloopers, Boggles, Typos and Stuff – Ruth Dudley drives 190K each week to help out a small congregation that has no priest. This was reported in a newsletter as, "Ruth Dudley is currently serviving as ‘locum tenens’ in the parish of . . . ."
Ruth says, “It may have been a typo, but I'd say that ‘serviving’ – a cross between serving and surviving – is most apt!”
from the file
* Hymn: “Wise Up, O Men of God!”
* . . .an evening of boweling at Lincoln Country Club.
If you’ve spotted any good bloopers in your church bulletin or newsletter, or anywhere else for that matter, please send them to me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish I’d Said That! – Laughter helps us remember all the things we have in common. Clifford Kuhn via Velia Watts
Dave Watters sent us the text from a batch of church signs. Here are a few of them.
* Each service is different. We leave the repeats to TV.
* As you pass this little church,
be sure to plan a visit.
So when at last you’re carried in,
God won’t ask, “Who is it?”
* Speak well of your enemies. After all, you made them.
* God is perfect. Only humans make misteaks.
* We are the soul agents in this area.
* The meek shall inherit the earth. If that’s alright with you.
* Happy Easter to our Christian friends. Happy Passover to our Jewish friends. To our atheist friends – good luck!
We Get Letters – William Jones of Surprise, Arizona (isn’t “Surprise” a great name for a town?) offers us the question that may become the great theological issue of our age. “Where did the resurrected Jesus get his clothes? His robe was taken from him at the time of his crucifixion. The only reference in the gospel narratives seems to be when Mary mistook him for the gardener. Did he borrow clothes from the gardener? Did he rip off the gardener leaving him naked and hiding in the rose bushes? Did he pick up something at one of the local tailors?”
A really, really, really profound question, William. The only way to deal with this is, in the best traditions of our modern church, to strike a committee. I would propose Episcopalian John Shelby Spong and Randall James of the Southern Baptist Church.
Whichever one survives gets to give the answer.
Nancy Harms enjoyed Jim Taylor’s paraphrase of Psalm 23 last week, especially the line, "The airline didn't lose my bags." It reminded her of a limerick.
Two elephants, Harry and Faye,
couldn't kiss with their trunks in the way,
So, they boarded a plane,
they're now kissing in Maine,
cause their trunks got sent to L.A.”
The short poem discussion also moved Carl Chamberlain of Lockport, New York to contribute a limerick. Sort of.
There was a young girl from Peru, Whose limericks end at line two. . . And the inevitable following: There was a young boy from Verdun
Wayne Seybert of Longmont, Colorado picks up on the notes about the shortest joke and the shortest poem.
Wayne writes: “What is the best joke in the world? A mirror.” He says those who can laugh at themselves will never be sad.”
Wayne, I suggest to folks that the next time, just before they get into the shower and are standing there buck naked, look in the mirror. Then meditate on that amazing statement in Genesis that we are made “in the image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:26 & 27).
Our comments about sheep last week, prompted Dorothy Peccia to write about an 83-year-old friend who “wept and gnashed her teeth every time she's heard a sermon about the shepherd caring for his lamb-ikins. If she had money she would endow a seminary with money for a flock with the proviso that every seminarian would have to shepherd the flock for several weeks.” She says that “although many sheep may follow the shepherd, there are always those who go off on their own.” So the shepherd must “be a rugged individual who is prepared to fight for and rescue those who go astray.”
April Dailey who lives near Ford City, Pennsylvania says the “plague” blooper last week reminded her of another plague she encountered in one of her country churches some years ago. “Every spring we were absolutely inundated with ladybugs (or whatever those pernicious little beetles are). The little critters would be in my hair, climbing my shoulders, trying to get into the communion elements. I had to leave the chalice covered until the last possible moment. Even then, I'd be periodically waving my hand chasing bugs flying over the chalice. It looked like I was trying to perform some magic trick.”
April, your story reminds me of the laugh I had with Marie Williams of our church who, along with others, does Healing Touch therapy. One summer day it was stifling hot in the room they usually use, but it was nice and cool in the sanctuary. So they set up at the bottom of the chancel steps and began their ministrations over the person lying on the cot.
It seems someone wandered unnoticed into the sanctuary, then left quickly and reported that there must be a funeral that day, and that three women were doing something really weird with the body.
Mirabile Dictu! – (Latin for “Amazing Face!”)
Do you know what a mondegreen is? If you do, reach around and give yourself a pat on the back but be careful not to dislocate your shoulder.
“A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song.” That’s from the universal authority on absolutely everything, Wikipedia.
Here’s a few I’ve collected.
* Blest Be the Binder Twine
* Amazing Face
* And deliver us from eagles ... (The Lord’s Prayer)
* Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Nine
* Bringing in the Cheese ... we shall come to Joyce’s, bringing in the cheese
* Blessed are the cheese makers… (Monty Python)
* Cheese Whiz Loves Me, This I Know
* Come, Christians, Join to Sin
* Give us this day our jelly bread ...
* Gladly, the Cross-eyed Bear
* God Sees the Little Sparrow Fall, Its Meat Is Tender Too
* Good King Whence Is Lost
* Good Mrs. Murphy shall follow me all the days of my life. (23rd Psalm)
* Good tidings we bring, to you and your kid …
* Hark, the Hairy Angels Sing
* Harold be that name (Hallowed be thy name)
* He rules the world with Ruth and Grace, and makes the nations groove. (Joy to the World)
* Jesus, Savior, Pile on Meat (Jesus, Savior, pilot me …)
Bottom of the Barrel – Here’s a great story to use during a stewardship campaign.
The strongman at a circus sideshow demonstrated his power before a large audience. Toward the end, he squeezed the juice from a lemon between his hands. He then said, “I will offer $200 to anyone in the audience who can squeeze another drop from this lemon.”
A thin, scholarly-looking woman came forward, picked up the lemon, strained hard and managed to get a drop. The strongman was amazed. He paid the woman and asked, “What is the secret of your strength?”
“Practice,” the woman answered. “I was the treasurer of [name your own] Church for thirty-two years!”
Scripture Story as Reader’s Theatre – Acts 8:26-40
Reader I: Talk about coloring outside the lines.
Reader II: You mean Philip?
I: Yeah. You have this tiny little Christian community – they’re still trying to figure out who they are and what they are supposed to do. And Philip runs off and converts an Ethiopian. And a eunuch too.
II: Do you have a problem with that?
I: No. But I’ll bet those folks in Jerusalem did. He was a foreigner, he was black, and he was a eunuch. That meant he couldn’t have children, and so that made him an incomplete male.
II: I guess the church has been wrestling with these sexuality questions right from the get go.
I: Well it’s a great story. So let’s read it. From the 8th chapter of the book of Acts.
An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip.
II: "Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." I: That was a wilderness road. Way off the beaten track. So Philip got up and went.
II: Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit spoke to Philip again.
II: "Go over to this chariot and join it."
I: So Philip ran up to it and heard the Ethiopian reading out loud from the prophet Isaiah.
II: "Do you understand what you are reading?"
I: "How can I, unless someone guides me? Come. Get into the chariot and sit beside me." II: Now the passage of the scripture that the Ethiopian was reading was this:
I: "Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth."
So my question is this, Philip. About whom does the prophet say this? About himself or about someone else?"
II: Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to his new friend the good news about Jesus. As they were going along the road, they came to some water.
I: "Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?"
II: And so the Ethiopian commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.
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