When Jesus spoke to the crowd of 5000+, a story we read in Gospel of John chapter 6, they remained for hours to hear him speak about the Good News even though they were incredibly hungry. Was this because the emptiness of their lives was growling louder than their stomachs? Jesus fed them with words of hope, and then also fed them with baskets of bread. The next day the crowds sought him out but he asked if perhaps they were only interested in getting another free lunch. Jesus then explained that he himself is the Bread of Life, that those who come to him believing will never be hungry again: “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live.” – John 6:51.
Some were offended and confused by these words and stopped following Jesus after that. When I first read these words in the Bible before I was a Christian I also thought it sounded pretty crazy. But now as a follower of Jesus I have experienced this personally. Placing my trust in Jesus was like receiving his life within me and allowing him to fill the emptiness. I’m continually tempted to fill my life with other things, but the Spirit of Jesus within reminds me that he alone can satisfy my hunger. And those who follow Jesus are called to do as he did which certainly means meeting the physical needs of those around us as God gives us the resources to do that. But it also means sharing the Good News. Perhaps this is why I like the definition of evangelism (which means to share the Good News) by D.T. Niles, just one beggar telling another beggar where I found Bread.
The Rev. Gwyneth Arrison is serving as pastor of the Merrimacport United Methodist Church of Merrimac www.MerrimacportUMC.org
Don't forget about the good news