by Maria Rudolph
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The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor (Isaiah 61:1).
‘God has chosen me, God has chosen me, to bring good news to the poor. God has chosen me, God has chosen me, to bring new sight to those searching for light …’
Do you know this song by Bernadette Farrell? Google it if you don’t! It popped straight into my head when I read the first verses of today’s Isaiah passage. Do you sometimes find while you read a section of Scripture, you are reminded of a song or a hymn?
The Holy Spirit uses music to turn our minds to Jesus throughout the day. It’s this same Holy Spirit who was upon Jesus as he became the preacher of the good news, the healer of the broken-hearted, and as he released people from the prison of darkness. The Gospels contain eyewitness accounts of exactly that: a new covenant has been made between God and us people. The word ‘gospel’ is Old English and means ‘god spel’, literally ‘good news’.
Jesus Christ has come to heal and restore people, not just physically, but also to heal and restore us spiritually so we can walk confidently with God our loving Father, knowing we are forgiven. Jesus came to preach the kingdom of God, but he never intended for this to be exclusively his job. He had to ascend into heaven so that the Helper, the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, could come and be with and within the followers of Jesus – and that includes you!
The Holy Spirit makes sure the gospel is preached to the ends of the earth – literally because as we are sitting here reading this, we are a long way from Israel, where it all started! You know that all good things come from Jesus – now allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.
There is so much spiritual poverty all around us and a great famine for the word of God. Jesus begins his Sermon on the Mount with ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). Those who are poor and starving are eager to be filled with the good news. Go and seize the day as you share Jesus through your words and deeds.
Lord Jesus, thank you for binding up my broken heart time and again and for setting me free from the captivity of darkness and sin. I put all my hope and trust in the good news concerning you. Now help me to not just store this goodness up in my heart, but make me your vessel through whom you proclaim your gospel to the people around me through my words and my actions. Amen.