I can’t sleep, so I’m going to listen to some Philip Glass and write some stuff.
I tend to lose a lot of things in the general business of life. I own a house, have a wife, have two dogs, have a job… all of these things demand most of my attention. Sometimes thing can get lost in all that clutter, like changing to snow tires so we don’t die driving to work when the snow comes in a few days. Or making sure the dishes are washed. Or making sure that dratted dog isn’t eating the sofas. That sort of thing.
I lose the gospel too. I do. It gets stuck behind a bunch of stuff and I forget about it for a while until I come back one day, dust it off and remember how much I need it. This is me at my best. At my worst I do something stupid or make someone mad or do something downright sinful, and only then do I remember I need that gospel, day in and day out.
Maybe after being a Christian for a good fifteen years or so I shouldn’t need that gospel so much. Maybe I should have sloughed off a bit more of that old man and put on a bit more of the new one. Even so. I still need the gospel. I still need the good news. I still need Jesus.
Have you ever gone an entire day without talking about Jesus? I have. I went all today without mentioning his name once, not even in passing. I think I heard it as a swear word at the dog park. But that was it.
That’s kind of embarrassing, if you think about it. An entire day. That’s a bit of egg on my face. I didn’t really think or talk about that thing I just said I need every day.
When I think about Paul and Peter and all those guys in the New Testament, I think they were basically crazy about Jesus. They wouldn’t shut up about him. It was Jesus, Jesus, Jesus all the time. They talked about him and sang about him and testified in front of the authorities about him. The New Testament is all about him. He becomes the central figure of everything, the great fulcrum upon which all human history moves.
Maybe I should be about Jesus a little more, eh?
Too often I’m about music, or sex, or sound equipment, or clothes, or a certain way of doing things, or coffee, or whatever. I could make a really long list of stuff I think about in the morning. But I don’t really need any of those things, not in the same way I need the gospel.
Sometimes I like to imagine what kind of church I would be, if I were a church. I know, it’s a bit weird. Imagine a church that focuses on everything else but Jesus. Imagine going through an entire church service without hearing the gospel. Imagine sermons that are about coffee and clothes and television and my hobbies and my interests, that are focused on me, that all look inward instead of out.
I wouldn’t want to go there. I don’t think you would either. You’d kind of wonder what that church was doing, not talking about the reason that church is there in the first place.
Here’s where I loop back to the beginning again. The gospel, right? We all need it. Jesus died, Jesus was raised again, Jesus sent his spirit into the world. He extends grace to everyone who has faith. He calls us all to come. There is forgiveness. There is a new beginning. I have been baptized with him and raised with him. His promises and favour are mine, and his kingdom is now.