Note: my laptop crashed so I’m having to use archived images today
Clearly, you are a letter from Christ… 2 Corinth 3
Sometimes the most ordinary of things just come off as funny.
This morning, for example, Rebekah noticed there was a notification waiting on our Amazon Alexa. So she asked for the information. The reply was concise and to the point:
“The Gospel of John will arrive today!”
“Imagine that,” Rebekah replied, “I guess we should set out the good china.”
Of course Alexa was referring to a delivery and – sure enough – a package containing my copy of Max Lucado’s “The Gospel of John” small group study landed on our front stoop within the hour.
The timing could not have been better, because it reinforced the central point of this morning’s conversation at church which was, essentially, “What kind of gospel (or good-news) story do we tell in and through our day-to-day, 24-7, lives as disciples of Jesus?”
I asked some of the guys the following question: “If you were writing a gospel – The Gospel of Dan, The Gospel According to George, etc… – what would your central or foundational theme be?”
To voice the query another way: “If you were sharing your take on the good news about Jesus, what unifying thread would run through the story?”
And, what kind of “gospel” arrives when we show up – anywhere?
Storytelling is what we do:
You see, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all shared their Jesus narrative from a particular point of view. They all had a particular message in mind and they had to decide what to include, what to leave out, what to write first-person as participants, what to quote in Jesus’ own voice, when to literally copy their source material, where to editorialize, and what to simply report as eye-witness observers.
We are going to spend a few weeks exploring John’s account. But as we do I want us to think constantly about our own (often life-long) encounter with Jesus and what it is about that experience we share with the world.
I like the way this was communicated with the early church in Corinth:
The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Here’s another way to look at this. We do tell a story – intentional or otherwise – in and through the way that we live in our everyday lives. If anyone knows we accept the Jesus message and that we identify as “Christian” then we are by definition disseminating a gospel every day and in every way.
It’s not a matter of “if” we share Jesus so much as “exactly what” we share, and if that message is advancing the kingdom or setting it back!
Are we “good news” believers or something else?
So a message declaring, “The Gospel of John is arriving today!” is a great thing to hear. But what about The Gospel of Derek or Anne’s Gospel or The Gospel According to Bernie or The Gospel as lived out by Tony, or Gayle, or Eddie, or David, or Andrew or…..?
Because Jesus is the best possible good news we can tell via living love out loud – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.