Friday, February 15, 2013

post-baptism blues

Isn't that the question many of us are asking ourselves, with our own particulars incorporated in it? Our difference is not always outwardly noticeable, and we may even attend a church regularly, but we still ask ourselves, "Is there a church which will accept someone like me?"

p.s. The answer is yes, while they may be hard to find, there are churches who will accept and embrace you just as you are.

This cartoon is based on the Biblical account of Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch, as told in Acts 8:26-40. The eunuch was reading from Isaiah chapter 53. Only a few chapters later, Isaiah has these verses, and one might reasonably expect that the eunuch has also read this:
56 This is what the Lord says:

“Maintain justice
    and do what is right,
for my salvation is close at hand
    and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
2 Blessed is the one who does this—
    the person who holds it fast,
who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it,
    and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”
3 Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say,
    “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”
And let no eunuch complain,
    “I am only a dry tree.”
4 For this is what the Lord says:

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths,
    who choose what pleases me
    and hold fast to my covenant—
5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls
    a memorial and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that will endure forever.

What might this have communicated to him? Especially at a time when (as is still often the case today) religious groups put great importance on purity and boundaries, he finds foreigners and eunuchs mentioned positively in the Book of Isaiah -- and he is both!

Richard Beck has some interesting insights into the Bible and eunuchs.

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