Pause

Bad news seems to be all around us. We hear grim predictions about the economy and the environment, learn about hostilities and divisions within communities, listen as our friends tell us their troubles. Everywhere we turn, the news seems to be negative. Even the prayer list at church can get us down.

But our faith in Christ speaks of good news – good news for the poor and oppressed, healing for the sick and broken, freedom for captives, redemption from sin, and hope for us all.

How do we discover and experience this good news that Christ has come to proclaim? And once we have found it, how will it make a difference for us and for all the world?

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Listen

I offer praise in the great congregation because of you; I will fulfill my promises in the presence of those who honor God. Let all those who are suffering eat and be full! Let all who seek the Lord praise him! I pray your hearts live forever! Every part of the earth will remember and come back to the Lord; every family among all the nations will worship you. Because the right to rule belongs to the Lord, he rules all nations. Indeed, all the earth’s powerful will worship him; all who are descending to the dust will kneel before him; my being also lives for him. Future descendants will serve him; generations to come will be told about my Lord. They will proclaim God’s righteousness to those not yet born, telling them what God has done.

Psalm 22:25-31

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Think

The Psalms were the hymnal for the Hebrew people. Their verses express every experience and emotion imaginable: joy, fear, grief, doubt, anger, assurance, hope... The real-life experiences of people of faith. Just like us, the Hebrew people lived in a world that was sometimes uncertain and frightening, and their worship, like ours, helped them to approach God with honesty and sincerity.

The Psalms also help us to see that no matter the circumstances, in celebration and in challenge, God is both loving and powerful. The God who created everything is in control and is stronger than any problem or evil in this world. And that same God loves us and wants to provide for our needs and give us good things. That is certainly good news for all of us. Where do you see evidence of God’s power in the world? Where do you find examples of God’s love?

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

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Pray

God, I see you at work in the world and experience your love in my life, and I am grateful. When things are going well, remind me that you are the giver of every good gift, and when challenges come, teach me to trust in you. Amen.

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Go

“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

From “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

Elizabeth Jones Edwards has served as Associate Minister for Youth and Christian Education at Lakeside Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC, for the past 13 years. She lives with her husband and two sons in Nashville, NC, and enjoys poetry, cooking, and cheering on the Demon Deacons.

Jesus, Giver of All Good Things

Jim McConnell

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