St. Paul in Galatians 1:6-7 writes, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.”
Why are we attracted to perversions of the gospel or messages that compete with the good news of Jesus Christ? Maybe we want to be gods, and deep down we resent the fact that we need a savior. This is why we are attracted to different gospels, and messages that compete with the gospel in our world today because we want to be our own savior.
Our mission here at St. John Lutheran Windfall has always been to reach out to others with the gospel. This doesn’t mean that we have always done it perfectly or haven’t been distracted by other things in effectively carrying out this mission. The body of Christ is both holy and sinful; we are going to miss the mark from time to time. Though I believe that our gospel centered mission and outreach is growing and will continue to grow. May we be centered in prayer that as we continue to bloom and grow in Christ that our service inside and outside our congregation will always have the Good News as the cornerstone of any ministry, program, gathering or event that we offer.
I say all of this because it seems that many in our society are scared because things are changing. We see change in many vocations, in education and in the church. For example, the post office can’t function the way it always has because of the change in how we communicate with one another. This doesn’t mean all the changes we are experiencing are bad, many things will just be different and many are afraid because we don’t know what all of this will look like in the end.
As for the church in North America as part of the mainline protestant demographic everyone is experiencing membership decline and fear what the future will bring. This creates the perfect scenario where we would be tempted by “other gospels” to survive and not be faithful to the message that has served as the rock of the church for over two thousand years and our congregation for 177. Throughout the gospel we are told “Do not be afraid” and are in fact comforted with Good News!
In a changing world with empty promises, competing messages and false gospels may we be faithful to the gospel, may our mission always be centered in the gospel, may we not be distracted by fears of change or survival, but comforted in the good news that Jesus Christ, who was crucified and whom God raised from the dead, is Lord over all creation and let’s continue to share this Good News with others and one another.