An important Ethiopian official happened to be going along that road in his chariot. He was the chief treasurer for Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia. The official had gone to Jerusalem to worship and was now on his way home. The Spirit told Philip to catch up with the chariot. Philip ran up close and heard the man reading aloud from the book of Isaiah. Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The official answered, “How can I understand unless someone helps me?” He then invited Philip to come up and sit beside him. – Acts 8:27-31
Philip is often credited as being the first Christian missionary to the African continent. The church didn’t send him, the Spirit of God did. God arranged this, not so chance meeting, but obedience to His call made all the difference. Both men could have found reasons to avoid intersecting on that road race, social status, language, less than positive past experiences with foreigners or religion. Some times obedience can be uncomfortable; Philip had to run, the official had to invite a stranger in.
Being inclusive is not an option, but an imperative in the Kingdom of God. It is the extra steps that make all the difference.