Acts 8

Acts 8

(One witness of events that day was Saul --
& he agreed with Stephen’s gruesome fall!)

Persecution Scatters the Believers

New persecutions started, right away,
as all Jerusalem seemed in hell’s full pay;
all staunch believers, with the main omission
of the apostles, were in the position
of having to be scattered far & wide
till, for true harmony to coincide,
Judea & Samaria received
as many as might sense their hearts relieved.
(Men known for deep devotion did appear
& bury Stephen’s corpse, as if to veer
away from any strange ingratitude
for how that able speaker set a mood
requiring sundry spheres to feel contrite.)
Saul soon, however, seemed to vent vast spite
by traveling from place to other place
with no intent much less than to erase
the church entirely; & his harshest means
involved his striding house to house, with sheens
whose brilliancy permitted him to yank
meek men & women out to feel the clank
of prison shackles so explicitly
scant hope was part of breath’s hegemony.

Philip Preaches in Samaria

Some then far-flung believers nonetheless
kept preaching Jesus’ News with great success;
a man named Philip, for example, went
Samariaward & in that city bent
receptive ears in modes that seemed to free
enough Messiah tidings to swell glee.
(Crowds closely heeded all things Philip said,
since aspects of his aura struck harm dead
& proffered hidden promises of powers
entirely likely to bring blissy hours.)
Assorted evil spirits were cast out
& as they left their victims spewed loud shout;
& many paralyzed or lame folk soon
were healed so perfectly they ceased to swoon.
Joy rampant in that city was enough
to seem immune toward any forms of guff,
&, thus, when Simon (an old sorcerer
who once, or more, had seemed far lovelier
than Truth itself) was given fresh appraising,
he couldn’t vie well -- as the now amazing
great Power brought by Philip of Christ’s News
urged more than some slight few to alter views.
Much baptizing occurred among both sexes,
as if to banish any latent hexes,
& that magician Simon suddenly
glimpsed brightness with enough transparency
to be another full believer glad
as someone baptized to seem vastly clad
in fervency enough to strive to follow
that Philip with an ardency unhollow
inclusive of amazement at how well
that preacher’s actions seemed to vanquish hell.
When the apostles in Jerusalem
caught wind of how a sort of diadem
of godliness was in Samaria,
they sent, to witness all phenomena
inherent in that, John & Peter both,
& those observers soon appeared unloath
toward praying hard that all the new believers
might absolutely be complete receivers
of every nuance of the Holy Spirit.
Till then such full transforming, though a fact
entirely valid, hadn’t proved exact,
despite how baptized one & all had been
in Jesus’ power to mitigate much sin.
By merely laying hands on many folk,
soon John & Peter cast aside the cloak
of darkness that had caused a sense of grief
to cling to certain aspects of belief.
On seeing how the Spirit was infused
by those apostles, Simon felt enthused,
to such a point he offered them some money
in hopes he, too, might keep worlds very sunny.
“Let me,” he uttered loudly, “also own
the power to elevate much mortal tone
by laying onto folk mere human hands
to fortify life’s godliest commands!”
To that request, though, Peter quickly said,
”May you & your foul money be struck dead
for your assuming, somehow, God’s great gifts
are merchandise much strangeness shifts or lifts!
You never can participate in this,
since inwardly you are some vast abyss;
&, really, to seem even halfway right,
you need to pray enough to prove contrite.
Then, maybe, God will pardon your warped thinking,
which tells me you now wallow in deep stinking –
the kind that fosters so much jealousy
its bitterness kills glory totally.”
“Please pray for me some,” Simon then intoned,
“as all of me desires to feel condoned!”
Once John & Peter’s preaching in that city
had run its course, their motives stayed so gritty
they felt inclined to let Jerusalem
(that epicentral earthly diadem)
be, once again, the locus for their beings;
& on their way there Wondrous News of freeings
begot by godliness they gladly shared
in places where Samaritans still fared.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Now, as for Philip, he indeed received
from one fine angel words which Jesus weaved
& which instructed Philip: “Quickly wend
along the road whose tendencies to bend
run straight from Gaza to Jerusalem,
which must remain a gem on any hem!”
He started walking & in some brief while
met Ethiopia’s treasurer, whose guile
included that he was a eunuch rich
in powers under Kandake, whose full niche
included her then reigning as the queen
of all of Ethiopia’s bright sheen;
that eunuch’s moments in Jerusalem
had been for veneration, life’s main stem,
& now he was returning to his home
&, seated in his carriage, held a tome
inclusive of Isaiah’s prophecies,
from which he voiced pervasive harmonies.
The Holy Spirit said to Philip: “Go
beside that carriage, & start speaking so
the interaction won’t imply sad stalking”;
when Philip did that, suddenly his gawking
at how things were grew rich, as he could hear
the phrasings of the man suggest no sneer.
Isaiah’s language sounded sweet & strong,
a fact that hit brave Philip like a gong.
He asked, “Sir, do you truly grasp, at all,
such special text, or is it folderol?”
The eunuch’s answer was: “How can my slightness
allow much insight, since I’m crammed with triteness
& lack the wisdom certain other folk
might glean from each prophetic masterstroke?”
He then urged Philip to sit next to him,
& they, together, viewed some verbal vim.
(The Scripture then surveyed ran starkly thus:
“As if some sheep to slaughter worlds discuss,
or like some silent lamb near being sheared,
he stayed closed-mouthed & never-ever veered;
humiliated & unjustly treated
was he, & his descendants saw repeated
such heavy mocking, who might really tell
how much his death embodied earthly hell?”)
The eunuch turned toward Philip & inquired:
“Say, was that prophet worlds have much admired
then speaking of himself, or were, in fact,
his lines addressing other forms of act?”
Employing that same Scripture as a start,
bright Philip’s answer managed to impart
rich Wondrous News of Jesus, who at heart
remained a sort of beacon of warm bliss;
while riding side by side, though ‘hit or miss’
perhaps ruled much, the eunuch’s special voice
exclaimed: “Now, look, there’s water likely choice --
much, much of such -- , & I do wish to know
why I cannot be baptized in it so
I find salvation!” Then his carriage he
demanded cease its motions, & with glee
both he & Philip found, with that found flowing,
a way for him to reach baptismal growing.
Once from the water those two men arose,
the Lord’s great Spirit placed some sudden close
on Philip’s being there, & nevermore
did that same eunuch witness, nor hear lore,
in terms of Philip but went merrily
away, while Philip spread more Prophecy,
far north, at Azotus, which has renown
for truly being one quite vital town,
along with other towns, that welcomed him --
Caesarea near last to taste his vim?


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