At its essence “evangelism” is about the euangelion, the good news concerning Jesus Christ; also known as the “gospel”. This good news speaks of the new life we can have through Christ and how that not only transforms the individual but the family, community and society. Whereas there are many forces that may want to hinder and inhibit the experience of a new life, Jesus the Christ represents God’s way to enter into this new life. Jesus comes not to harm or destroy; rather, he comes to heal and to deliver.
In Jesus’ encounter with this unnamed man who was bound by an unclean spirit he shows how keenly interested God is in offering life and liberty to those who are in bondage. The question that the unclean spirit asked, “have you come to destroy us?” may be interpreted as an indication that the evil powers were aware of their vulnerability and weakness. Additionally, they knew who Jesus was and what Jesus could do to them. In that regard, we need not be afraid of the powers of evil and death that may seek to rob people of the life that God has designed for them. The good news is that evil and death are subject to the power of God.
In this event Jesus showed us that the things which hold people in bondage will have to flee when confronted by the presence and power of God. Some of the chains may be internal and others external; some may be of an individual nature whilst others may be structural and institutional. Whatever the situation may be, the gospel is a message of liberation: Jesus has come to set the captives free! Enabled by the power and equipped with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, followers of Christ are called and sent to proclaim this good news so that all peoples may experience new life through Christ.
In a world where there is much bad news, our task is to offer in real and tangible ways this message of the gospel so that God’s salvation will be experienced.
-Anthony Chung, United Church in Jamaica & the Cayman Islands (UCJCI)
Liberating God, in Jesus of Nazareth you have revealed your love, power and grace. His life, death and resurrection bear witness to the truth of who you are and your plan for the world. Help your church in this time to be a beacon of hope and light so that others will see and hear the gospel. Amen.
United Church in Jamaica & the Cayman Islands
Pray that students in Jamaica, who are without internet access and the required technology to engage in online learning in schools, may receive assistance. Also remember teachers who are required to acquire new skills and engage new methodologies for imparting knowledge using online platforms. Thirdly, parents who have to adjust to the new learning model in order to support their children.
Remember persons in both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands who struggle with overcoming psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, relational issues and bereavement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pray that the church will continue to be responsive to the ‘new normal’ for worship, work and witness through innovative and impactful ministry expressions and engagements.