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Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him,  Luke 8:1

the things that you have seen, the blind see, the lame walk, the leapers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.  And blessed is he who not offended because of me.  Luke 7:22

I will admit that I am sort of a news “junkie.”  On the cable system that  I watch, there are over 20 different full time channels that offer a constant deluge of “news.”  When you couple that with the internet outlets for news, there literally is a countless number of resources for keeping up to date.  Also understand, we all approach news, “from a point of view”, both we who consume as well as those who distribute the news, do so through a filter.  It is that filter which we all use that allows us and/or forces us (psychologically) to put our “spin” on the incidents with which we are bombarded every day.  That “spin”, that is that meaning of the events, the importance that we place on them, the hidden agendas we seek to uncover (either within the purveyor of the news or if we are wise within ourselves as we take in the news) will greatly impact our behavior as a result of that news.

Given the nature of news broadcasting today, can you imagine some of the “teasers”, “tag lines” or “headlines” that might come from Gospel happenings:

Leaders choice of meeting location puts listener’s health at risk!  (Jesus preaching to 5000 in a remote location, where he also miraculously fed them).

Leader endorses cannibalism! (Jesus discussing the spiritual eating of His Body and Drinking of His Blood)

After quick start, poll numbers shift decidedly down for Leader! (The Israelites calling for Jesus to be crucified)

Leader’s tomb broken into, body missing! (The resurrection)

In the Gospel, we are told that Jesus Christ announced the Good News.  What is that Good News?  I think a snapshot of the Good News is given, when Jesus Christ, outlines to John’s disciples, what Jesus has been doing in his ministry.  But of course it does not stop there.  All of Jesus Christ’s teachings, His healings and of course, His Sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection are the Glad Tidings of Good News, that the Savior has come and had completed His mission.

So what is our spin on this?  In other words; what importance do we place on this news and how is it going to impact our behavior.  In answering that question, I would implore everyone to read Romans Chapter 8.  Starting off with “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…….., the chapter goes on to outline other joyous consequences of Christ’s Good News as well as proper responses, ending in an immeasurably powerful summation that starts with:  Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  Know that the love in that sentence which is past tense is changed to the present tense in the very next line.

Let it be for all of us who call upon Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, that we wholly and completely accept the Good News of Jesus Christ’s Gospel.  That we choose to disregard the “spin” of this world which would have us believe that at best the Gospel is the story of a “good man” and at worst is a human made up fairy tale.  Our life here and for all eternity hinges all how receive that Good News.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we are inundated with more happenings, more opinions, and faced with making more conclusions than ever before.  As Your Son, Jesus Christ warned, as he discussed wars and rumors of wars, we would find ourselves faced with ever conflicting messages.  We thank you, Most Merciful Father, that You have given us the True Good News of the Gospel of Your Kingdom.  That You have seen fit to provide us with clear guidance to a life with communion with You which brings joy, even in the direst of circumstances.  Thank you for the never ending Love and Relationship that is spelled out in Your Message.  Give us the strength to cling to and live ever closer to the words of Love and Life which You have made known to us.  That in living that life, we would bring Praise and Honor to Your Most Holy Name we pray.  In the Name of The Son who You Gave to be Our Savior Jesus Christ.

Amen

So Aaron and his sons did all the things that the Lord had commanded…… Leviticus 8:36

For all  have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…….   Romans 3:23

He died once for all…….Romans 6:10

How it is that we believe what we can achieve.  There is not one place on earth we have not gone.  We left our planet and traveled to other worlds.  We have gazed upon the smallest particles and looked into the farthest reaches of the universe.  We have conquered some of our diseases relegating them to the pages of history.  We have brought the male and female keys to life together in the laboratory and then brought the fruition of that paring out of the womb.  We, in many cases feel there is nothing that humans can not achieve………perfection is within our grasp.

And when I ponder those things and begin to heave my chest out and raise my head in the pride of human accomplishment, I see nation fighting nation.  I see one of us abusing another, many being the youngest and most innocent.  I see our learning being used to concoct terrible drugs leading to physical, mental and spiritual destruction.  I wonder at my own hate for some and judgement of others.  Greed abounds and we purposely disregard the needs of those around us.

This is nothing new.  God, through Moses, had freed His people from Egypt and was in the midst of leading them to the promised land.  Even then, some of the people had already turned to a golden calf idol when Moses was away.  God in His perfection knew, for this people to stay with him, there must be atonement for the sins that they would commit.  So through Aaron and his son’s, God gave directions for sacrifices that would lead the people back to Him.  If humans were perfect, then the guidance given by God would have been enough to keep them in the Grace of God.  But the bible shows again and again that was not the case.

God knew better, a perfect way was needed.  He knew that the blood of animals, no matter how unblemished they were and how many were sacrificed would ever be enough to wipe the sin away and bring us into the presence of God without blemish.  God’s plan was to have the final sacrifice that once and for all would cleanse us from not just one sin, but all sins.  Not that our sins become without consequence or lose their evil impact, but the level of sacrifice was so great to overcome those sins.  That sacrifice happened on cross when Jesus Christ gave His life for us.  His life was not taken.  It was freely sacrificed.  His blood was the perfect atonement.  The only atonement which could fulfill the need.  The only sacrifice that restores the relationship by the Grace of our Heavenly Father.  We were, are and forever will be inadequate to fulfill that need on our own.

Why would God plan it that way and why would Jesus Christ humble Himself and comply with that plan.  Simply and most powerfully for Love.  God is Love.  A Love that doesn’t need us but so longs to be with us.  Thus even at the end of our best days, if we are honest when we look in the mirror, we will see sin.  What does God see when He looks at those who know their imperfections, hate them and believe, love and call upon His Son Jesus Christ?  He sees a person washed in the Perfect Blood of His Son and through the eyes of Perfect Love, He sees the Perfection only He can bring about.

May we all shed our conceits of our own perfection and cling to Jesus Christ’s.

Amen

 

 

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