Good News!

Text: Luke 9:6
They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere. (NRSV)

I wonder when it was that we started trying to scare people into heaven.  Was it a planned tactic that we thought would work better than what Jesus asked us to do?  Jesus clearly calls us to bring the GOOD news of the Kingdom of God to people.  This is exactly what happens when he first sends out the Twelve on their first mission trip; “They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news…

It seems to me that the church at some point stopped proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ and started threatening people with hell.  Instead of people being offered a “life-giving” relationship with a God who is love and who loved them so much he was willing to come in the person of Jesus Christ and die for them, we began to offer them a “life-saving” way out of eternal damnation with which an angry God was threatening them if they didn’t turn from their evil ways and confess their faith and allegiance to this God of wrath.

And what happened was people made a choice that can be very reasonably called selfish.  They chose to save themselves by swearing allegiance to a God of wrath in order not to burn for all eternity in hell.  There was little sense of any understanding of a life-giving relationship with the God of love that would bring us a better life on earth as we loved God and neighbor and transformed this broken world with the healing love of an amazing God.

In loosing the GOOD news of the Gospel, we also lost the understanding that Jesus’ call to his followers was to continue his transforming work of love.  I don’t think it is too late.  Share the good news of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and healing so that Jesus’ love might yet transform this broken world into the kingdom of God so that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Pray with me:

God of love and God of good news thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. AMEN.

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