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

An angel from the Lord spoke to Philip, “At noon, take the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he did. Meanwhile, an Ethiopian man was on his way home from Jerusalem, where he had come to worship. He was a eunuch and an official responsible for the entire treasury of Candace. (Candace is the title given to the Ethiopian queen.) He was reading the prophet Isaiah while sitting in his carriage. The Spirit told Philip, “Approach this carriage and stay with it.”

Acts 8:26-29

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Think

Have you ever been in an awkward situation? Maybe you were in a strange place or with people you didn’t know and had to strike up a conversation. Or perhaps you were somewhere that the language or customs were unfamiliar, and you felt unsure of the appropriate thing to do or say.

Do you think Philip felt awkward about the situation in which he found himself? God told him to go down a dangerous wilderness road to encounter a person from another culture and a country far away, and a powerful and influential person at that! Philip had no idea what he was being sent to do, but God said, “Go,” and the story in Acts tells us that Philip got up and went. He trusted God fully and followed God’s call. Are we willing to do the same?

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

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Pray

Holy God, give me ears to listen for your call and courage to follow. When the way is uncertain, guide me, and when I feel weak, make me strong. 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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