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Rested and Rejoicing

Today was another gorgeous Indian summer day, but the drive up and across the Mississippi River to O’Fallon and Lake Saint Louis really did not treat us to any more fall coloration than last Sunday’s drive. Leaves are staying green longer than they used to when I can remember their being in all their glory by the middle of October.  So we still have that pleasure to look forward to. 

Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day because we worshipped with our daughter’s family and saw our beautiful granddaughter Brianna baptized in the 11 a.m. service.  Their church was celebrating baptism today, and over 20 believers were baptized in the two morning services.   


After hymns, our service started with a bilingual baptism by the pastor of Hispanics ministry.  Then the interim senior pastor baptized a young mother and also a white-haired gentleman.  Interspersed with prayers and songs, the service continued with the baptism of several young people by the youth pastor.  How pleased we were to see these youth start what we pray will be a life-long joyous journey with their Lord and Savior.


After the baptisms, Brianna joined us. Trent excused himself to go to his Bible class in another part of the building.  Then the pastor spoke on the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, who wanted a passage from Isaiah explained to him. 


Philip joined the eunuch in his chariot and told him the good news about Jesus.  After talking and listening as they rode together, they came to some water.  The eunuch asked the question:”Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”   The pastor based his sermon on that encounter from the book of Acts and did not go on to the next verse, which has always intrigued me. 


After they had come out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly and miraculously took Philip away.  I wonder how that worked.  Did Philip let the Spirit cause him to start walking in the opposite direction?  Did the Spirit lift him up into the air and give him a spiritual form of transportation that I like to imagine?  Philip and the eunuch never saw each other again on this earth, but the newly baptized man went on his way rejoicing. Obviously Philip had accomplished what the Angel of the Lord had in mind when he directed him to go on that road to Gaza. 


We went on our way over to the Taylors’ house, where we were greeted on the front porch by three cute jack-o-lanterns the kids had created yesterday.  One was topped with a black top hat and another with the Mickey Mouse souvenir hat from their trip to Orlando a few years ago. 


At the delicious dinner that Brian and Mary Ellen prepared for us, we celebrated Brianna’s upcoming birthday on Tuesday when she will be 14.  During after dinner talk at the table, somehow Mary Ellen had all the dishes already into the dishwasher.  I watched her do it, so I know it was not supernatural, but it was impressive. Then the talk continued in the living room until we realized we needed to get on the long road back home to the farm—rested and rejoicing as we face a new week.