This semester I’m taking a class entitled “Life and Work of the Pastor.” Our assignment for Tuesday was to write our Gospel, or what we would share with someone as the essential elements of our Christian faith. The first attempt was a little rough, and I’m turning in the second draft which I’ll post later. It’s an interesting exercise, and hopefully at some point, each one of us will have a conversation where we share our Gospel with a non-believer.
When God sent Christ to the world in the form of a baby, God opened a new line of communication with the people of the world in order to communicate a message of love and forgiveness. Coming as a baby, born of a virgin mother, Christ was the ultimate in innocent life. As the child of God, Christ grew into a significant ministry experience that gave each of us an example to live by.
While the down and out look different and have different names and job titles now, the example lived by Christ shows each of us how we should live our lives in order to best share God’s love with the people around us. Each of us needs to find and realize the “tax collectors” and “religious teachers” in our own lives; the people around us who are hungry and thirsty for nourishment, both literal and psycho-emotional. These are the people Christ touched, and they are the people we should reach out to. Christ did not stay within any one group of people. Christ reached out and loved all, no matter color, race, creed or religion.
When Christ was put to death on the cross, God made an eternal statement to all people. Christ said, “Forgive them,” to the people about to kill him. For God to forgive the murderers who killed Christ should represent for us God’s incredible gift of grace and love represented to us through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. If we can take seriously the gift God gave to us and live to share that message with the people around us, we will hopefully spread the message of God throughout our land and around the world, making a difference in the lives of those who hear of God. And throughout the Bible, we understand the character of God leading up to Christ’s birth, allowing for future generations to put all the pieces together: to see God in the beginning, to see God as Christ is sent to Earth and to see the work of Christ and the early church as they attempt to share God’s message with the world.