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

Running up to the carriage, Philip heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?”

The man replied, “Without someone to guide me, how could I?” Then he invited Philip to climb up and sit with him. This was the passage of scripture he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent so he didn’t open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was taken away from him. Who can tell the story of his descendants because his life was taken from the earth?

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? Is he talking about himself or someone else?” Starting with that passage, Philip proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him.

Acts 8:30-35

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Think

There’s an old saying that God doesn’t call the equipped but equips the called.

Philip probably felt rather ill-equipped as he approached the Ethiopian’s chariot that day. What was he going to say to someone with such high connections? And one who was so different from him in every way? Why had God sent him here?

But Philip didn’t hesitate, and when he arrived at the chariot and found the man reading the prophet Isaiah, he knew that he was sent there to explain the scripture and share the good news about Jesus.

The God who is both all-powerful and all-loving invites us to become partners in sharing the good news with others. We may not always know what to do or say, or why we have been sent, but if we will remain available and open and listen for God’s guidance, God can work through us to share the good news about Jesus in all kinds of circumstances and to anyone we meet.

Elizabeth Jones Edwards

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Pray

God, there are so many needs in the world and so many situations I don’t understand, that I often feel overwhelmed. Help me to know what to say or do in order to share the good news of Jesus with others. 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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