Being Good News
“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me… he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed.” -Isaiah 61:1
Read Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Two years ago I attended a Bible study primarily composed of homeless folks in a downtown coffee shop. My hope was to learn from these dear people and to place myself in a position to create friendships. During a time of sharing I listened as a single father (with his two children) talked about how God had come through for them by mysteriously providing a home when he was convinced they’d be on the streets. The short back-story is that he had recently received custody of his two boys, 3 and 10, rescuing them from a mother addicted to drugs. Now, he needed a refrigerator and food.
Touched, I offered him my college dorm fridge; but when others heard about the situation, resources came together beyond anticipation. One person offered a full- size refrigerator. Another had the idea to purchase Christmas gifts for the kids. Yet another decided to buy gift cards to a grocery store. That night we pulled in with a van-load of hundreds of dollars in gifts, groceries and the fridge. The father, completely overwhelmed, wept aloud with tears of gratitude for us and for the God we serve! That day began a friendship with a father who wanted the best for his kids but simply needed some Good News.
What today’s passage reminds us of is that the Good News is more than a message, it is acting in love for the most vulnerable in our society. May we ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to be Good News this advent season and beyond.
Father, help me to see you at work in the world. Enable me to experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit, that I may be empowered to be Good News.
Kurt Willems, M.Div. student, Visalia, CA (As published in 2011 Advent Devotions: Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary)