4-18-21 | (IN)Significant Encounters | Jeremy Hudson
Effects of Encounters Still Echo Today…After the Sermon Blog
Imagine you are reading your Bible and the story you’re reading concludes with “and the man returned to (insert the YOUR hometown) and shared what he had learned.” How cool would it be to see a straight line drawn from a scripture narrative to your own place of origin? For the majority of people today, especially those of us in the western hemisphere, that type of direct connection between the Biblical stories and our own isn’t possible.
But it is possible for a man named Dagnawi, or Dagi as his friends know him. Dagi is originally from Ethiopia but currently lives in America with his wife and newborn son. Dagi met his wife while they were ministering in his hometown. A few years ago, they came to the United States (his wife is American) so that he could pursue a master’s degree in Theology before they return to minister in Africa, mostly likely back in Ethiopia. It has been my great pleasure to be one of Dagi’s classmates, even more to call him my friend.
As I was preparing to kick off this sermon series, (In)Significant Encounters, and knowing that we were going to do so by looking at Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch—I reached out to Dagi to ask him what it was like to be able to read about the faith origin of his people and country directly from the pages of the Bible.
“Acts 8 has always been a rich and powerful passage for me.” Dagi shared. “We know that it was through the influence of our ancestors like this man that Ethiopia is what it is today.”
Dagi continued, “We know that even before this account, there were people from my country who believed and worshipped Yahweh, the God of Israel, but as they came to see Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah and put their trust in Him—it influences the faith and culture of my country to this day.”
Ethiopia has officially been a Christian country since the Fourth Century, making it one of the oldest Christian nations still in existence. Isn’t it amazing that Dagi and his fellow Ethiopians have a heritage that can be traced back to a Deep Discussion on a Dusty Road?
We said this past weekend that God uses encounters which may seem to be mundane, inconsequential, or even bizarre as platforms for powerful change in people’s lives. That’s how God often works. He said as much in Habakkuk 1:5;
“Look among the nations and see! Be surprised and full of wonder!
For I am doing something in your days that you would not believe if you were told.”
But, what if Philip had passed up the moment?
What if Philip, who was so busy ministering in Samaria, had missed the message from God sending him to a wide spot on a country road? Or worse, what if He had decided that it wasn’t a good idea, that he didn’t have enough information, or that the journey was too risky?
I don’t want to wander into a theological quandary here. I know God’s ultimate will would have been accomplished. The Eunuch would’ve encountered God someway, somehow. He would have taken the Gospel back to Ethiopia, and eventually someone would have shared it with my friend, Dagi. But Philip would have missed the supernatural experience that is finding yourself standing in the middle of a (In)Significant Encounter.
I’m glad that Philip didn’t expect all the details beforehand, trusting instead that God had a plan and was in control. Because of that, Philip had the incredible blessing seeing eternal impact happen in front of him—impact which continues to be a (In)Significant Encounter today!
What (In)Significant Encounter could God be calling you and me to be a part of today? Tomorrow? This week? Or this year?
Are we ready to see it when it happens?
Are we willing to step into it, even if we don’t have all the details?
Are we expecting to be surprised by what God is planning to do?