May

Jesus and the Good News: Life for others!

Gospel is central to our lives as Christ-followers! We may well believe that the gospel message is “Jesus died to save me from my sin” but the gospel message is so much more than that! The gospel message, the euangellion, is glad tidings of great joy to all humankind! Indeed, this is the message Jesus embodies as he lives fully as the incarnate presence of God in the world. The presence of God brings life! This is good newest the poor, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom for the oppressed, the year of the Lord’s favour! This is broken reeds being restored. This is the lame walking, the hungry being fed, oppressive religious systems being challenged and destroyed.
The Good News is about more than personal salvation so that we go to heaven when we die. It is about bring the healing, hopeful presence of God to all people, all creation, speaking life into every circumstance. And this is the purpose of the church and every Christ-follower! Essentially the task is simple: learning to see where people do not have life, where do our structures, religious and otherwise, destroy life? And then learning to act of their and God’s behalf.
Both of those tasks, as simple as they are, are nearly impossible to accomplish. It is so difficult to see past our own need and luxury to see the needs of others and how we can respond. One of the most difficult things for me to see, as a person of privilege, is the satellite image of a road in South Africa (and there are many!) diving the wealthy from the poor. How do I as one of the wealthy, see the poor?
And then to act, especially when it means to give up what is important to me. This is why we’ve spent so much time speaking about sacrifice! How do I give up my possessions, but how to I give up my theology that teaches me that this or that group is unclean, is cursed to their position, deserves to be there?
The Good News is indeed good when it is about personal salvation, but to follow Jesus, we need to offer the same to others as what first gave us!