During the middle of the week a man showed up at our church, asking for money to buy something to eat. Since we don’t keep money on site, we offered him groceries from the food pantry that normally distributes on Saturdays. His displeasure was obvious. When a volunteer arrived with food from downstairs, the aggravated man went through the bags giving reasons why none of the items would work. The cabbage was hard to digest. The canned food had too much salt. Money was what he wanted, and we refused to honor the request with church or personal resources. He left angry and the church leaders were left frustrated.
Two years later the man showed up for worship. He eventually joined the church, was baptized, and attended Sunday school and Bible study. Before participating, he confided in the pastor that he could not read. He asked not to be put on the spot or embarrassed.
Something in this man’s life had changed. He credited Jesus for his transformation. Not only was this change evident to the congregation then, it continues to be visible. He conveys his excitement and passion for Christ to those he loves and lives near. He finds ways to share what he is learning with those around him. He invites friends and family to church. Those who won’t join him there hear what he has learned in class and experienced in worship. He wants those around him to know about Jesus Christ, who changed his life.
After experiencing the depths of God’s forgiveness and love, Paul stands in court and shares his conversion story, hoping that those listening will turn towards Christ like he did. Paul uses his situation to express Christ’s love. When God’s love transforms us, that love makes us agents of change.
When was the last time you shared about the goodness of God’s love in your life? How has that love made you an agent of change?
God, use me to spread good news so others may come to know you. Amen.