Today the church remembers Philip, Deacon and Evangelist.According to Acts 6:5, Philip was one of the seven deacons selected and ordained by the church in Jerusalem. The others were Stephen (see December 26), Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus. All were regarded as "full of the Holy Spirit" but were chosen particularly to do housekeeping and administrative duties. Philip soon proved his mettle as an evangelist in Samaria where "multitudes of one accord gave heed to what they heard him say..." (Acts 8:6). Many were healed and reconciled by his ministry and "there was much joy in that city" because of his good work. Once when Philip was traveling on the desert road south of Jerusalem, he came upon an official of the Ethiopian court who was riding south in his chariot. The Ethiopian was reading the Book of Isaiah, and Philip struck up a conversation with him. The Ethiopian invited him to join him in his chariot and as they journeyed Philip converted him. The chariot stopped and Philip baptized him. Tradition has it that this Ethiopian courtier introduced the Christian faith to Ethiopia. Philip eventually settled in Caesarea. He was married and had four daughters who were leaders in the church. According to Acts 21:8 Philip once entertained the apostle Paul in his home in Caesarea. It was there that Agabus prophesied Paul's fate: to be bound and turned over to the Roman authorities. Great God, when you call us into your service, make us ready to serve you with gladness. Amen.
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Holy God, no one is excluded from your love, and your truth transforms the minds of all who seek you: As your servant Philip was led to embrace the fullness of your salvation and to bring a stranger to Baptism, so give unto us all the grace to be heralds of the Gospel, proclaiming your love in Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.