Here’s a new solution to the church building problem—meet under an interstate bridge. I don’t know this church or its pastor personally, but a friend of mine mentioned it to me because she knows I’m always interested in unique approaches to doing church.
This church started out as a Bible study and ministry to the homeless people who slept under a particular bridge, and it grew to become a church focused on serving the poor and communicating the message of Jesus. Their mission statement says, “May we come together, black, white, brown, rich and poor, educated in the streets and in the university, all worshipping the living God, who makes us one.”
I read John 2 recently, about the clearing of the temple. This passage is often cited for the idea of “righteous anger”—it’s okay to get angry if it’s for a good reason. I think that’s true. But take it one step further—what did Jesus get angry about? I think at the core it was a justice issue.
In Guatemala, 50% of the population self-identifies as evangelical, but the communities have not been transformed. That’s a bunch of people who say they’re following Jesus. Yet there is still rampant corruption and injustice in the country. If 50% of the people were really living as Jesus lived, things would look different. There is something wrong with discipleship that doesn’t result in transformation.
What comes to mind when we hear the phrase “the good news”? Generally we think the gospel, yes. But what gospel? A set of beliefs including the virgin birth, incarnation, death, atonement, resurrection, repentance and salvation? Yes. What else?
As I looked to the gospels—in the study of the incarnation of Jesus that I’ve been describing throughout my blog this week—I paid particular attention to the inauguration of Jesus’ earthly ministry. How did Jesus frame his own “good news”?
John the Baptist first announced the coming of the Kingdom of God quoting Isaiah the prophet: