Five Minutes on Friday #32


“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”        [Shakespeare]

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”    [Matthew 10.42]



‘Being a spiritual friend is being the physician of a wounded soul.  And what does a physician do when someone comes with a wound?

Three things:  He or she cleanses the wound, aligns the sundered parts, and gives it rest.  That’s all.  The physician does not heal.  He or she provides an environment for the dominant natural process of healing to take its course ... an environment for the birthing and nourishing of a whole soul.’             [Tilden Edwards]



from Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 - 1971)

Lord, we pray this day mindful of the sorry confusion of our world. Look with mercy upon this generation of your children so steeped in misery of their own contriving, so far strayed from your ways and so blinded by passions. We pray for the victims of tyranny, that they may resist oppression with courage. We pray for wicked and cruel men, whose arrogance reveals to us what the sin of our own hearts is like when it has conceived and brought forth its final fruit.

We pray for ourselves who live in peace and quietness, that we may not regard our good fortune as proof of our virtue, or rest content to have our ease at the price of other's sorrow and tribulation.




This week we look at Biblical perspectives on God’s mission.  The prophet Isaiah in the OT captures the mission of God with the language of ‘good news’ or ‘gospel.’  This good news means the flourishing of all of creation and of all human life.  It is especially good news for the weak, the poor, and the oppressed.

When Jesus began his ministry (Luke 4) he drew on Isaiah’s vision God’s good news which brings salvation and deliverance.  Through Jesus God’s reign comes with God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.


Read Isaiah 61.1-11.  How is Good News imagined here?

Read Luke 4.16-30.  Why is Good News sometimes controversial news?

How does Jesus message contrast with our culture’s messages?