Monday, February 8, 2010

The Gospel of Negativity

I grew up learning about things I was supposed to not do. These were things that God didn’t like. It said so somewhere in the Bible but it’s hard to find because it’s a big book with a lot of words that I didn’t understand.

To a young me, obedience to God was showing up at church and avoiding a list of behaviors and actions that were bad. People who didn’t follow this list of rules just weren’t in favor with God. It was all about following the rules. That made God happy. Right?

However, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says this:

"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

(Matt 5:14-16 The Message)

The Gospel is supposed to be the good news. Good news is not the idea that God has piles lists of rules for us to be subject to. Good news is that Jesus has come to earth to save humanity and end our separation from God.

Letting your light shine doesn’t come from how well you follow the rules. Sure, leading a life of righteousness is part of the package. Is simply being good letting your light shine? Declaring Jesus through your life will get your noticed. Standing up against injustice or being the champion for the weak will get attention. Minding your own business and just staying out trouble is hiding under the bucket. How can you let your light out?

More to come…

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