Sunday 3 July, 2016

Acts 8:9-13

9 A man named Simon lived in the city. For quite a while he had practiced evil magic there. He amazed all the people of Samaria. He claimed to be someone great. 10 And all the people listened to him, from the least important of them to the most important. They exclaimed, “It is right to call this man the Great Power of God!” 11 He had amazed them for a long time with his evil magic. So they followed him. 12 But Philip announced the good news of God’s kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ. So men and women believed and were baptized. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. He followed Philip everywhere. He was amazed by the great signs and miracles he saw.

“Notable converts include…” – The writer of Acts describes the notorious ‘Simon the Sorcerer’ with tangential details in the continuing amazing exploits of the early church and it’s Apostles. These verses introduce the great magician, testifying to his conversion and baptism in the face of Philip’s witness and miracles. The hierarchy of power is clear: Philip’s God is over and above Simon’s god by the simple logic of sequencing.

This is only part 1 of Simon’s story and it reminds me that God takes all sorts – all backgrounds, all types, all kinds of people. And having joined the people of God, Simon’s story is far from over. Thank God that we are all ‘works in progress’ because otherwise the unfinished state of our current formation would make for an embarrassing review.

Thank you Lord that you accept me as I am and include me in your story. Thank you that you have not finished with me – continue to shape and mould me according to your desires, I submit to the good plans you have in store for me.

Written by Sam Stewart

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