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Pointing towards the kingdom

Pointing towards the kingdom

Something to read

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, ‘This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.’ They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

- Acts 8:9-12 (NIV).

Something to think about

Children are generally proud of all their achievements, and often want to share them with anyone who will listen. Adults will obligingly congratulate them on whatever they are proud of: helping with baking, colouring a picture or success on the potty!

But while their triumphs are celebrated, children are also taught not to be boastful, something which Simon the Sorcerer’s parents apparently neglected to do. Boastfulness doesn’t share joy with others, it elevates yourself at the expense of others. It seeks admiration and  promotion, and often stretches the truth in the process. Like contemporary figures we might think of, Simon had some success in gaining an adoring audience through his boasting.

Philip’s message was entirely different. Rather than pointing to himself, he pointed only to Jesus. The good news was not about Philip’s own ministry, although it was accompanied by wonderful works; rather, Philip’s preaching drew people to the kingdom of God. 

Celebrating successes, and sharing our joys with others, is a wonderful part of being community. As staff, partners and supporters of Christian Aid, we do this to build momentum to our movement. Let’s make sure as we do so that we give the glory to Jesus, and let our triumphs point towards God’s kingdom.

Something to do

Check out Christian Aid’s Twitter feed or Facebook page and find a recent achievement or campaign win to celebrate. Consider how this success points to the good news of God’s kingdom, and share the joy on your own social media if you can!

Something to pray

Glorious God, thank you that you are the one who is truly great, and deserving of all awe and praise. Help me to use every gift and skill I have, every success and achievement I make, to point to your goodness and kindness. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones