The Miracle of Joining the Church

John 6:40-44; Acts 8:26-39

Holy Scripture says that God is the Spirit. Although He is everywhere, a sinful person cannot see Him. A human being is a physical organism that can be seen, heard, and touched. God became fully united with man in Christ. People saw a man but, seeing His works, they had to realize that he was God. For many, however, it was difficult to see Christ the Man as Christ the Lord; and to perceive the visible flesh as the invisible Spirit. For many, Christ’s humanity was a temptation. When He said, “I am”… “descended from heaven,” people murmured, “Isn’t he Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? So why does he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” This is the way we always do it: if we cannot see something, we demand, “Show it to me, and then I may believe you.” And if we see it, we just give up, or come up with a “scientific explanation”.

The Church that the Lord established on Earth also has dual nature. It consists of both the physical, that is, those humans who consider themselves its members, and the spiritual, that is, the Spirit of God. Given that people could hardly see the Spirit even in the most pure and unblemished Body of Jesus, imagine how difficult it is to come to Christ by means of looking at our sinful flesh! They say that we Christians are as mean and weak as other humans; how can we claim that God is with us? Still, people turn to God and join the Church, and it feels like a greatest miracle of our time. In fact, every time a human being joins the Church is a veritable miracle. We read about one such miracle in the today’s portion of the Epistle.

A nobleman was riding a chariot. His soul was predisposed to seeking God, and he was reading the Book of Isaiah while traveling. He couldn’t make sense of the prophesies written in that book, if not for the apostle Philip, who had been told by an Angel that he was to go south to the road that went from Jerusalem to Gaza. The apostle went there and met the nobleman on his chariot. The nobleman was reading about the Passion of the coming Savior. Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading, and explained to him Who the prophet was talking about and what he needed to get saved. They approached a water source, the nobleman got baptized and received the Holy Spirit, after which he continued his journey gleefully. The Angel took Philip and transported him to new fields of ministry.

That is an ordinary event. That’s the everyday life of the Church. However, it is described as though its invisible aspect is made visible. In reality, Angels and other God’s messengers take part in all events, and God himself watches them. He is watching every movement of our hearts. He sends us the necessary books and the right commentaries, and leads us to the church in due time. That is why the Lord says, No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. We need to learn to feel his hand upon us always and in all circumstances, and be able to see every person who approaches us as God’s voluntary or involuntary messenger.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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