25 September 2007

The Power of the Gospel--Part 1

At a staff meeting during my internship this summer, I was baffled as to what to name my fledgling sermon. "Well," the senior pastor said with a smirk on his face, "[insert the name of famous preacher here] said that every sermon should be titled 'The Power of the Gospel.'" A worthy title to be sure, but a little confusing when you preach more than one. For the record, I decided on "Abraham People" for my title, but I've decided to start a series here in blogland, aptly titled "The Power of the Gospel." Even more ironic is that it's actually going to be on (of all crazy things) the gospel.

I'm an idea person. Just ask the fine people at Gallup, who last night declared to me (in incredibly tacky language) that I love ideas ("What you can be sure of [in life] is that ideas are thrilling, and most days, that is enough"), I like seeing the context of something ("You look back. You look back because that is where the answers lie...") and that I like to learn ("The thrill of the first few facts, the early efforts to recite or practice what you have learned, the growing confidence of a skill mastered--this is the process that entices you.") They've basically cracked me open and seen what makes me tick, and that sort of freaks me out. Regardless, I think I'll keep these aspects about myself and use them...here!

This may sound like an incredibly pedestrian concept, but I'll state it anyways: the Gospels are really important in Christianity. Those texts, for all their spin and historical confusion, are the only documents that tell us about the events that we base our faith on, written by people who (at best) were there and (at worst) were a whole lot closer to that time than we are. The Gospels are the angsty Gen-Xers of the literary world, if you will--important, but incredibly misunderstood.

The fact is that the Gospels weren't really written for us. I have a hard time believing that the writer of John sat down at his parchment and thought, "In two thousand years, some young woman will be reading this, and think it's interesting, and write about it in her journal on a worldwide communication platform." Uh-huh. They wrote for that time and for that context, and while that doesn't mean that nothing is applicable to us (I'll cover that topic in a later post), we have to seriously look at what the original context was to be able to truly understand and therefore better apply it to our lives today. See? It's an idea. And it's the past. And it's learning. I love it!!!!

So, my dear friends, I seek to explain the Gospels a little better in this new series entitled "The Power of the Gospel." Stay tuned.

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