Commemoration of Philip the Deacon
The Lord be with you
Philip, also called the Evangelist (Acts 21:8) was one of the seven men appointed to assist in the work of the twelve apostles and of the rapidly growing Early Church by overseeing the distribution of food to the poor (Acts 6:1-6). (He should not, therefore, be confused with the Apostle Philip.) Following the martyrdom of Stephen, Philip proclaimed the Gospel in Samaria and led Simon the Sorcerer to become a believer in Christ (Acts 8:4-13). He was also instrumental in bringing about the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-39), through whom Philip became indirectly responsible for bringing the Good News of Jesus to the people on the continent of Africa. By his work with the Samaritans and the Ethiopian we can see that Philip had a good grasp of the Gospel as God’s message for all people. He traveled as a missionary, preaching in every city from Azotus (Ashdod) northwards to Caesarea, where he took up residence with his four daughters. (As there is no mention of a wife, it is assumed she died before he became a deacon.) In Caesarea Philip was host for several days to the apostle Paul, who stopped there on his last journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:8-15). Philip’s activities toward the end of his life are the subject of speculation, but Basil (329 – 379), who became bishop of Caesarea, says he was bishop of Tralles in Lydia in Asia Minor.
Collect for the Commemoration of Philip the Deacon: Almighty and everlasting God, we give thanks to You for Your servant Philip the Deacon. You called him to preach the Gospel to the peoples of Samaria and Ethiopia. Raise up in this and every land messengers of Your kingdom, that Your Church may proclaim the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Other things to pray about:
• For those who administer the affairs of the church
• For those who flee persecution
• For missionaries and their families
• For all Christian families and single-parent homes
• For the spread of the Gospel in the Middle East and Africa
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert