Nothing shakes me up quite like the words of Jesus. I’ve embarked on a teaching series through the Gospel of Matthew (The first book in the New Testament) and invite you to join me.
Question for you: Is a Gospel the same as the Gospel? Consider the following from britannica.com: “The English word gospel is derived from the Anglo-Saxon godspell (“good story”). The classical Greek word euangelion means “a reward for bringing of good news” or the “good news” itself. In the emperor cult particularly, in which the Roman emperor was venerated as the spirit and protector of the empire, the term took on a religious meaning: the announcement of the appearance or accession to the throne of the ruler.”
Is a Gospel the same as the Gospel? We’ll see in the Gospel according to Matthew (formerly named Levi and one of Jesus’ apostles) that a Gospel is a biography and that within the story of Jesus we find meaning to our story. The Good News comes to us that the rule and reign of the Creator God on Earth has begun again in King Jesus’ “accession to the throne.” The Gospel is the announcement that God has done a reconciling work in Jesus (life, death, burial, resurrection) to bring us into the kingdom as heirs and partners in his work.
Sometimes Jesus is hard to understand and sometimes Jesus is hard to follow. The Gospel of Matthew has a theme running through it about Hearing and Responding and actually the Hebrew concept of hearing includes responding especially with the Great News that the Kingdom of God has arrived on earth again. Do You Follow?
Listen in on the first teaching “New Beginnings” on iTunes here or from the Issaquah Christian Church website here.
At Issaquah Christian Church we have a roadside sign on which we can display text to the traffic on Issy-Hobart. Pondering this responsibility and opportunity, I often wonder what we are trying to accomplish. Are we advertising to consumers? Are we like a kiosk at the fair or a for truck at a market with just a little sumpin’ to spice up your weekend? Add a little bit of church to your Sunday! Isn’t it weird to think that the point of going to church services is to add some flavor to your life?
First of all, we are the church (or we aren’t). That means that we do not go to church (the called out assembly of God in Christ). We are members of the body of Christ (1 Cor 12). We do not attend the body of Christ. That is nonsensical on the face of it.
Second, our identity is in Christ. The church is not an additional part of our lives, it is the core of our new identity. We are in Christ . We are the church, it is the most real thing about us. Jesus said that family relationships have no claim like the body of Christ does on its members.
Third, when the church gathers for prayer, praise, and proclamation, it is to rehearse this central truth in our lives. We receive from God and we pour into each other.
There are lots of wonderful aspects of life that add flavor and spice. Church, being the church, however is not one of them. Christ is your life and he has called his people in his name to live out that life together. #BeTheChurch
I’m stunned! Just barely made in on the plane with all 8 of us to head home. Home sweet home. My heart is so full of the kindness of others. I was flooded with texts and messages which reminded me of the amazing support the Bauers have. Our experience on the TODAY show revealed so much about the friends we have who are pullling for us. I’m thankful for the plane tickets, hotel rooms, the amazing gift of a cruise with the family, a glimpse of the show business and 24 hours in NYC. No doubt about that, but you guys are blessing my socks off with your cheers and retweets and posts. Our adoption journey is still going and we are so glad to have your support. It’s a bit embarrassing to get this much attention but Jesus arranged it and I want to keep my eyes on him. Oddly, standing in Times Square last night, it was clearer than ever that I don’t want to win at the American dream. It pushed me out of any fear or man or desire to please anyone but Jesus. Jesus lead on, I will follow. Follow Jesus. He will be enough. More than enough.