Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Scandal of Salvation

"I have good news," says your doctor.  Your eyes light up.  This is exactly what you were hoping for as you sat uncomfortably on the little paper sheet in his claustrophobic examination room.  Those medical tests were painful and invasive, and the hours since have been stressful, but now it seems relief is at had...all the worry and pain will soon be a distant memory.  "Yep good news indeed," he says, and then lays it out for you: "You ARE in really bad shape.  You COULD die any minute now, in fact.  But the good news is that if you radically adjust your diet, begin to exercise regularly, take these medications I'm recommending and take an anger management class, you just might live a few more years."  You swallow, take it all in.  "Doc, that doesn't sound like good news to me." 

As Christians, we believe in something called the Gospel. Literally, that word means "good news."  But--let's be  honest here--most of us don't really see what's so good about it.  Most of us tend to think it is more like a list of obligations and rules than an "all-clear" from our doctor.  That's because we've forgotten what the Gospel really is.  This Sunday, the start of Advent season, we'll be looking at Romans 3:21-26, a passage that lays out the Good News in all its glory.  We'll also be taking the Lord's Supper together. 

But to be honest, there are truths in Romans 3 that people--both religious and irreligious--have a tough time accepting.  Good news or not, some parts of it are tough for us to swallow.  We'll unpack the Good News this Sunday.  I hope you'll be there. 

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