Thursday, February 11, 2010

More on the Good News

Loving Spirit of Wisdom,
guide our thoughts and our memories.

In the light of your love,
may we see what is important for us to remember,
what is important for us to hold to our hearts,
and what we need simply to let go of in peace.

For we trust you to be our guide
even when the path seems unclear to us.
Through Jesus Christ,

After living in Nazareth for thirty years (Luke 3:23), Jesus began to deliver His message, which was called the Good News (Matthew 4:23). What was the Good News? In the time of Jesus, the people were burdened with laws that regulated the smallest layers of daily life. Besides the oppressive laws of their Roman conquerors, there was the body of Jewish law. There were not just Ten Commandments; there were 613 commandments and 365 prohibitions. When they could not measure up to the laws, the religious leaders cut them off from the society of decent people.
Jesus told people He had come to fulfill that prophecy, to bring them the Good News for which they had waited for so long (Luke 4:20-21). Part of the Good News brought to us by Jesus was that being fully human in the true sense of the word was true holiness. All the commandments and prohibitions did not make one holy. Being what God created us to be, just ourselves, good human beings was what made one holy (Mark 4:35-41). There is a profound revelation in that, and an important part of the Good News, that you could be ordinary, doing the ordinary, everyday things that people do, and underneath that simple, ordinary persona, possess extraordinary holiness.
How Jesus lived His own life as a human shows how we are to live ours (John 16:25-28). In His own life, Jesus lived simply. He was deeply in love with everything and everyone living, from God down to the simplest creature. He was gentle and compassionate, especially to those who were ostracized by society (Mark 2:17). He never gave an appearance of self-righteousness, but had a genuine humility and meekness and an understanding of others.
It is revealing that Jesus chose a wedding party for the launch of His public ministry (John 2:1-11). The news of what he did probably spread like wildfire, alerting everyone in the surrounding area to His kindness and His remarkable gift to the bride and groom. Kindness seems to be the message that Jesus wanted to precede Him, to disarm people so that they would not fear Him. Everything about Jesus spoke of simplicity, being born in a stable, living an unknown existence, showing nothing out of the ordinary except when some need called forth His extraordinary power to heal or to comfort.

Today as we go through our day, we should think about how we proclaim the "Good News". How do we heal? How do we comfort?

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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