What is Your Good News?

2020-01-24 – Year B – Epiphany 3 – The Rev. Canon Christopher Klukas

Jeremiah 3:19—4:4; Psalm 130; Mark 1:14-20

  • What brings a smile to your face when you read the newspaper? (I’m not talking about the comics!)
  • I enjoy stories about exciting emerging technology, long-awaited justice, undeserved kindness, truth coming to light, and beauty.
  • These are generally seen as “good news” to me. You might get excited by different stories.

The Gospel of God

  • Gospel means “Good News”
    • In Greek culture, the emperor was considered divine. “The first euangélion is news of his birth, then his coming of age, then his accession. Offerings and yearly festivals celebrate the new and more hopeful era that dawns with him.”
    • “The gospel of God” (Mark 1:14) is good news not of the emperor, but of God.
  • Mark 1:15 – “The time is fulfilled”
    • Kairos, a “decisive point” or “The moment we have all been waiting for”
    • The earthly life of Jesus was a “decisive moment.” So much so that we have come to measure time in years before Christ (BC) and years after Christ (AD).
    • Israel has been waiting for the Messiah who had been promised through the prophets. Jesus was saying, “Here I am!”
    • Corporate waiting for restoration – Psalm 130:6-7
  • Mark 1:15 – “The kingdom of God is at hand”
    • “179. What is God’s kingdom? The kingdom of God is the just and peaceful reign of Jesus Christ over all the world, especially in the lives of his faithful people, through the powerful work of the Holy Spirit” (ACNA Catechism).
    • God is setting things right. But different aspects of this rightness may catch the attention of different people.
    • The poor man might be attracted to God as provider. The sick woman to God as healer. The weak child to God’s strength. The lonely teen to God’s friendship. All of these are hooks that can catch our attention and get us excited about the coming reign of God.

The Right Response

  • The Good news comes with bad news. “God created the world and made us to be in loving relationship with him. Though created good, human nature became fatally flawed, and we are now all out of step with God. In Bible language, we are sinners, guilty before God and separated from him.” (ACNA Catechism, p. 20)
  • To understand your need for a savior you have to first understand the depth of your sin.
  • Personal waiting – Psalm 130: 1, 4-5 waiting for forgiveness and redemption.
  • Mark 1:15 – “repent and believe in the gospel”
  • Repent = Turn around.
    • Church Colson was a “hatchet man” for Richard Nixon. One of the Watergate seven. “boasted that he would ‘walk over my own grandmother’ to ensure the reelection of President Richard M. Nixon”
      • “Colson had no moral compass for the first 41 years of his life. In that period he occasionally described himself as “a nominal Episcopalian.” This was a considerable stretch of the word nominal. He was so unchurched that he had no idea who the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son were.”
      • At his lowest moment, a friend gave him a copy of C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity.” Through a series of conversations, he came to a personal faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
      • “Acting against the advice of his lawyers, Mr. Colson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, a step that he depicted as ‘a price I had to pay to complete the shedding of my old life and to be free to live the new.’”
    • This is an example of what it means to repent.
  • Believe = Trust
    • Repentance admits our wrongness. Belief is a trust in the power of God to save us from our wrongness and forgive us.
    • “God the Father sent his eternal Son into this world to reconcile us to himself, to free us to love and serve him, and to prepare us to share his glory in the life to come.” (ACNA Catechism, p. 20)

Saved for What?

  • Saved for relationship with God, but also to participate in God’s mission.
  • Mark 1:17 “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”
  • Romans 1:5 “through whom we have received grace and apostleship…”
  • Colson was released from Prison after serving seven months.
    • He had a major influence on the lives of the prisoners that he lived with.
    • Chuck Colson “‘I found myself increasingly drawn to the idea that God had put me in prison for a purpose and that I should do something for those I had left behind.’ Colson emerged from prison with a new mission: mobilizing the Christian church to minister to prisoners.” It was out of this that he developed “Prison Fellowship.” (empahsis added)
  • What is the fishing pond to which you are called? What is your purpose?
    • Salvation is not meant to be kept for yourself. There are people around you who are literally perishing because they have no knowledge of the Gospel.
    • Who has God uniquely equipped you to reach?

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