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March 10, 2015, 9:21 AM

Good News?

 “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”" Mark 16:15 NRSV


The gospels of Matthew and Mark end with Jesus commanding the disciples to go…baptize and teach…proclaim the Good news to all of creation. Mark adds a little ouch and exclamation point to his message. Luke ends with the ascension but before it we are told the disciples’ minds are opened to the scriptures and that “repentance and forgiveness of sins” are to be proclaimed in Jesus’ name. John preaches the Love of Jesus Christ first to Peter and then the implicit instructions as to not to worry about what is going to happen to Judas….Don’t take your eye off of the prize… “FOLLOW ME!”


You and I know and believe that Jesus Christ was born, lived, taught, suffered, died and rose again…and this is just the beginning… my question to you is … So what is the good news? Are we to preach it? What are we to do?


I believe the heart of the gospel calls us, the church, to “FOLLOW ME” and go out and be a presence in our community outside the four walls. We are to go out and make disciples, show love, proclaim forgiveness of sins and call for repentance. We are commanded to teach all that we are taught by the power of our Baptism in the strength of the Holy Spirit.


Again I ask, “What does this mean and how do we do it?” Friends, you and I are called to be the face of Jesus inside and outside the four walls of where we worship. You and I are called to give it our all. We are called to teach. But if we do not know what the scriptures have said how can any of us do it? How do we know what Jesus commanded us to do?


The foundation of the teachings of Jesus is Love God fully and to Love your neighbor as yourself.  Again I ask, “What does this mean and how do we do it?” Friends, are you devoted to studying the written living word of God? Are you devoted to listening to the word of God? Are you devoted to worshiping God? These are questions only you can answer, no one, including me, can answer them for you. You have many choices to make and evil will try to distract you…trust me. Yard work, relaxation, family business, vacation homes, debt from buying things, addictions, work (this can be an addiction as well!), kids sports, adult sports…oh there are so many… they can be all distractions.


These distractions keep you from worship, study, and ministry. It begins with worship, then study and then ministry. Now don’t get me wrong, please, many times you are being called to care for folks and you can’t find the time to worship on Sunday and that is more than ok! We are not called to take a vacation from worshiping because you need rest. Worship needs to calm your soul, heal your soul and energize your soul for the week ahead so you can do the study and ministry you are called to do.


I urge you during this season of Lent to get back to basics. God calls on us to return our hearts to God. We need to recommit ourselves to the simplicity of Jesus’ command. We need recommit ourselves to the service of our Lord. Worship in a place you feel comfortable. Leave your problems at home, leave your anxiety at the door and leave you issues at the foot of the cross here in church. Jesus teaches us that we can do this…that we should do this…. That we have to do this… for our soul’s sake. I ask that you recommit and dedicate yourselves to worship. I ask that you begin studying scriptures (here and/or at home). I ask you to rededicate your financial commitment to God. I ask you to rededicate yourselves to serve the people here (assisting in programs, helping, visiting and caring for members).  I urge you to pray boldly…like you mean it, minister continuously because feel compelled and love always like you are commanded to.


Perhaps these things will mean changes in your life style. It will mean putting God fully back as the center piece in you and your family’s lives. Perhaps it will mean that you just have to tweak so of the pieces in your lives. I know each of us has areas to improve upon oh my especially me.


If we recommit our ministries are going to be interesting, exciting and full of new journeys and paths. We all have stories to share and stories to create. My hope is that as the community of believers we can grow in faith, in worship, in study and in ministry.  Don’t let distractions get in your way for as you grow so will the church of Jesus Christ.



Pastor Ken

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