Christians have been reporting the same piece of “news” for nearly two thousand years. And hundreds of years before that, the prophets were predicting this same piece of news. After all this time, we still call it news, and we still report it, each and every day, around the entire world.
And it truly is news, even to this day. Even to those who have heard it a million times. Why? Because it’s still relevant to every single soul in the world. The “Good News” isn’t just about a one time event. Of course, a few unrepeatable events are crucial components of it, but equally, it’s about God coming down to you and to me, on this very day.
It’s news to us, both because we didn’t know about it beforehand, and because now we know, it changes everything. The salvation of humanity is the greatest event in all of history, and it’s as important today as on the day Jesus was born, the day he was crucified, and the day he rose again. Everything else is fleeting, and fading away, and come tomorrow no one will care, but the good news of the Kingdom of God changes all things in creation for all of eternity.
What’s more, it’s news to me every time I hear it. Yes, I have heard before, but I am forgetful. And while it’s relatively easy to get into the habit of living by the belief that God is “good”, it’s far tougher (and far more wonderful) to live by the belief that God is love. It’s shocking every time: God is merciful. Even while I haven’t forgotten, I am, so to speak, being continually shocked by this great truth. Further, He’s not merciful to us from a distance, and He’s not love in a vague and confusing aura of love; He is love, and He has mercy, in the person of Jesus Christ, God who took on flesh for us, and then gave his flesh for us, that we may live forever in him, and he in us. God is love, and He comes to us!
The gospel of our salvation is incredibly wonderful, and the most important truth in the universe. We should aim never to forget it, and never to neglect it. Not in thoughts, words, or deeds. It is truly our life.
This ancient truth is what matters. The most meaningful and wonderful truths in existence are held within it. It is to this old truth that we should be always looking, and not for a new understanding. I have often tried to write something original and “deep”, but I find that these are rarely worth reading. Such ideas may have some small worth, especially in a good context, but compared to the uncountable riches of salvation, they are nothing.
I should focus on the riches of God’s grace. Hopefully, what others have not yet found, I may show them, and if God one day allows me to notice a previously overlooked trinket among His treasures, then God will have shown me yet more favour that I don’t deserve.
That said, it is clear that we can’t all be full-time “theologians”, and I’m not sure a people composed entirely of theologians would be desirable. I am obliged to think about events other than salvation, and men other than Jesus. But at these times still, I should aim to keep in mind the gospel of God’s grace, which changes how we view all of reality, from the soul within us to the ground upon which we tread. There is nothing in reality which is not God’s, and there is nothing we should do if not for God. All things relate to the good news of my God, the Creator and the Redeemer. Perhaps this is part of what is meant by “pray without ceasing” (1Thess 5:17).
[I’d like to end with a prayer, if that’s all right. Let us close our eyes and pray. Are they closed yet? Good.]
Dear God, who by your mercy has offered us the gift of salvation,
Thank you for saving us.
Remind us constantly, and prepare our souls, to hold on to the good news of Your Kingdom.
By your grace, grant us the help we need to give up our all to possess Your Kingdom,
and to live out Your gospel, in love.
Help us to remember those who have not yet heard Your news,
and give us the courage and everything else we need, in order to share it with them.
Simplify our souls, so that we may accept your gospel entirely,
and live honestly before you.
Help us to pray better.
Thank you for the good news! You are so wonderful.
[You may open your eyes now.]
May God bless you in all that you do.