Last Sunday was the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst days in America’s recent past. It is a day filled with hate, fear, hurt, anger, remorse among other feelings. It was also the last outdoor summer service for the year, we had planned a Baptism for those who hadn’t been baptized earlier in the summer. There were 3 people that had filled out an application and met with Pastor Andy to go over their testimony and what they would share in front of the congregation. The testimonies were sweet and from the heart, after the three were baptized it was opened up to anyone who felt like they were being called to get baptized; an hour and a half later 28 people had been baptized. The service was incredible the Holy Spirit was moving in the hearts of lots of people and it was awesome to watch those that weren’t being baptized come around those who were, praying for them, crying with them and just being a family. This morning was an incredible growing experience for our church, and as I was up above taking some shots of the spectacle, I was hit with what a beautiful picture of God’s ability to redeem anything, even a day like September 11th. Just like he takes our broken, wicked, undeserving lives and redeems them through the work of the Cross. For 28 people and many others who witnessed this special time, this day will no longer be remembered in dispair or sadness but instead with joy and love.
“Behold, I am making all things new.”
Lately I have been really confronted with the fact that all too often I downplay the good news (Gospel) in my own life. I can tend to think; the gospel is for the world, the gospel is for the unbeliever, or even the gospel is for people new to the Christian faith. Now the the truth is that the gospel is for all those people, but the gospel is also for me and those that have been christians for years. The reason christians begin to think that the gospel is no longer for us, is due to a misconception of what the gospel truly is and what it does for us. The first thing I do that lessens the power of the gospel is to view it as a moral story that tells me how to live my life, and a list of do’s an do not’s that if I keep these rules I will be a “good person”. The second thing I do that downplays the importance of the Gospel is to compare myself to other people, then through this I begin to believe that “I’m a pretty good person compared to others.” The problem with both of these tendancies is the fact that when I begin to believe that I am a good person then the “Good News of the Gospel becomes just the news of the gospel.” To quote my daughters favorite bedtime book; “The Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what He has done.” (JSB) You see the Gospel is the fact that You and I are both sinful beings; and in and of ourselves there is nothing we can do to become Good People. Romans says that “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God,” it also says “the wages or result of sin is death.” So as we read the Bible we begin to realize there are no good people just a good God, at this point some people will be offended and ask what about, Noah, or Abraham, or David, or Peter, and what about Paul? To this I will answer with a few stolen lines from a pastor I really admire; Noah really; he became a drunk exabitionist, Abraham pimped out his wife twice! thats atleast one too many times, David impregnated a guys wife then murdered him to cover it up, Peter denied Jesus and later became racist, Paul Killed Christians!” The Bible is not a book about heroes, its a book about bad, evil people that God chooses to love inspite of the depravity of their hearts. We need to become very aware of the depravity of our own hearts, because as we realize how bad we truly are the Gospel goes from “just news to really really Good News.” The really really Good News that God came to earth as the man Chirst Jesus, and lived the perfect life we could not live, died the death we could not die and rose from the grave and lives today as our Savior, Lord and King.