Sometimes I think we’ve lost our focus a bit as of late.
Though many keep trying to put their finger on a variety of causes, problems, and even solutions, there is actually one central thing that really is missing at the heart of it all: the Gospel.
Not the watered down, ego centric, self-righteous counterfeit that so often markets itself as the abomination loathing and diversity averting force so many seem to relish in God’s place.
No, I mean the real Gospel. The one that is an extension of God’s own Self. We learn of it from the written gospels and throughout the rest of scripture. And it looks quite different than what many might think.
This Gospel is good news.
This good news is for the poor. It proclaims release to captives. It brings recovery of sight to the blind. It frees the oppressed. It proclaims the year of Jubilee, when all debts are forgiven.
This good news desires mercy over self-serving sacrifice.
This good news has stern words of warning to those in power: the prophecies say it will lift up those the world considers “low,” while casting the powerful from their thrones. It will fill the hungry with good things, while sending the rich away empty. It will help God’s people and scatter those who are proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
This good news takes care of the major needs in this life: of food and drink. Caring for strangers with welcome. Giving clothes to the naked. Visiting the sick and imprisoned.
This good news commands love. Love that will give everything for another.
In other words, it is the precise opposite of what the world often thinks. It is other-centered, based on God’s righteousness and truth, rejoicing in the fearful and wonderful creations God has made and the wondrous variety within the family of God that is meant to be bound together. As ONE.
That is the Gospel. That is the real good news.
It is love for a world in desperate need. It is justice for a world focused on division, vengeance, and hatred. It is life for a world that thrives on death.
This is the Gospel, the Good News, the very Life and Love of the God we serve.
Though we may have lost sight of it, it has never lost sight of us. God continues to move everywhere around us.
What is more, we need to also make sure that we are shifting our focus back to where it should be: how are we loving others the way that God has called us to? Are we ensuring others are cared for? Are we ready to give greatly of ourselves for love’s sake?
That is what the Gospel calls us to. For Christ has taught us that we cannot love God if we are not loving others. And that is where our focus should be.