What would you say is the Gospel of Christ? The good news of Jesus?
Personally, I find it quite easy to name what it isn’t…
It’s not about being saved
It’s not about the pits of hell and the gates of heaven
It’s not about a cosmic ransom paid
And it’s definitely not about abandoning the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures…
In fact, the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) lean heavily into the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures, all the way to the very beginning…
It is Jesus who takes us back to the beginning,
And reminds us of the God who created us…
What if THE story starts with creation being all good
And not “the fall”
A time where all of humanity became people of shame trying to recover something lost?
And for that matter, what if the story of the fruit from the tree was not about how we are all sinful, evil or broken
But instead a story that tells us that we are all able to make bad decisions and be forgiven, not that we’re inherently evil…
What if the Hebrew Scriptures are a story of a God who abides with creation, and not of a God who continues to punish humanity for their bad decisions, or a God who acts out of jealousy?
Perhaps the cross isn’t about retribution or ransom and Jesus is a reminder of the God who abides with creation
Maybe I could define the gospel of Christ as…
You are created by the God who created all things good,
You were breathed to life by the breath of that same God,
Filled by their Spirit.
Not to be slaves, not soldiers, not servants, but to be lovers, shepherds, neighbours.
And you are loved by that very same God who hopes and dreams that you will be people who love.
Love your neighbour
Love the creation
Love each other
That you, like the people of old have been set free to become people who free others.
From forced removal from land
From armed strikes
From being taken from their people and family
From refugee camps
This has always been the good news of Jesus, every second of the day it’s been the same, unchanged, and that’s what Jesus preached, what he lived out.
It’s all there in the book of Genesis, right from the very beginning.
Why wouldn’t you want everyone to know that?
Why wouldn’t you want to shout it from the hilltops?
Why wouldn’t you want to write it in the sky?
Even the rocks cry it out, so why don’t you?
I get that evangelism is hard,
particularly if your message is you must turn or burn, that message is abusive, it doesn’t set free, it captures, imprisons, binds.
But for once let us dream of a place where everyone gets reminded over & over & over again.
You are good
You are loved
You are magnificent