October 17, 2022

Acts 23:11 That night the Master appeared to Paul: “It’s going to be alright. Everything is going to turn out for the best. You’ve been a good witness for me here in Jerusalem. Now you’re going to be my witness in Rome!” (The Message Bible)

Why go to Rome? Certainly, there were plenty of people in and around Jerusalem who needed to hear about Jesus in the way Paul could talk about him. Why not just “bloom where he was planted?” In our book club we are reading about Eric Liddell. An Olympic champion in 1924 (focus of the movie Chariots of Fire) he became a missionary to China. He preached to large crowds in Great Britain. Surely God could have used him in his homeland. So why travel halfway around the world to deal with smaller numbers and eventually die in a Japanese internment camp during WWII? The only answer was that Eric felt his calling was to proclaim that God not only loves us but also those different from us. Paul kept moving out from his homebase to go to those different from himself with this message of God’s love. God’s people are always called to look to those “out there”, whether out there is across an ocean or across town or across the street, to see the opportunities to tell the story of God’s love in Jesus. How might you be part of that calling?

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