Anyone who has been around churches for even a short time in their life knows the basic story of Easter, "Jesus died and rose again to defeat sin and reconcile individuals to God." In American Christianity, this is the Gospel we hear, the personal-salvation good news. But is the Gospel bigger than personal salvation?
Part of the Gospel- the Good News for the world- is bringing God's Kingdom into the here and now. By working towards God's purposes in the world, we give others a glimpse of God's love and desire for all to be made new. We give them a glimpse of "God's will being done in the here-and-now as it is in Heaven"- and the Good that is God's Will is something that makes sense to people who may scoff at the typical presentation of the Gospel.
Jesus was the ultimate God-breaking-into-the-world, but, today, what does God's Kingdom breaking into this world look like?
- Justice for the Poor
- Food for the Hungry
- End to Oppressive Systems
- Healing for the Sick
- Peace for People Groups
- Care for Creation
The Good News for the world isn't only God reconciling hearts to Himself, it's God reconciling the whole world- people groups, culture, creation, world systems- to Himself, and we can be a part of that work. That's why I care so deeply about all the justice issues on this blog- I see it as furthering God's work in the world. What I do with my time and my money matters in the bigger picture, and therefore, also in the day-to-day.
Have a wonderful Easter as you reflect on what Jesus did to make reconciliation possible!