Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Still the Best News Ever

British novelist and playwright David Lodge slipped into the darkened theater unnoticed. On stage, Between These Four Walls, a satire he co-wrote was in progress. An actor, assuming the role of a job applicant, appeared on stage with a transistor radio plastered to his ear. The audience giggled at the character's cavalier attitude and lack of decorum in this serious moment.

Placing the radio down, the actor tuned it to a live, local station. The broadcast provided background music and chatter throughout the scene. Suddenly, a special bulletin interrupted the regular scheduled program.

"Today, the American President John F. Kennedy was assassinated..."

Quickly the actor shut the radio off - too late. Some patron's caught the announcer's words and chuckled nervously at what they thought was part of the script. If this was supposed to be a joke, it was a very poor one indeed. At intermission the rest of theater-goers learned the truth and the second half of the play fell flat.

Unseen events, Black Swans, define history and on various levels individual lives. Most memorable are those that spread fear and sorrow. I know exactly where I was the day President Kennedy was shot and killed. Of more recent vintage, I clearly remember the events of September 11th. During these times it is easy to be swept up by the bad news and allow the negativity to color our lives. Wouldn't it be a relief to have a good, no a great earth-shaking incident that changed the world for the better?

Without TV, radio, phones, internet and other social media the news that day in Jerusalem 33AD disseminated quickly. One hundred and twenty people stumbled out of an upper room and three thousand people responded to the best news they'd ever heard. That day Jerusalem became the epicenter for a world transforming movement.

The story that broke then still circles the globe and brings hope, restoration, redemption, love and joy. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest news ever. Wherever it takes root individuals, families, neighborhoods, cities, states and nations improve dramatically.

Sharing the Gospel was never meant to be a means to acquire notches on one's bible belt or to earn brownie points with God. Evangelism is extending an invitation to all to participate in life's biggest game changer. Filled with challenges, Christianity's no cake walk. When has anything worthwhile come easily?

How about you? Can you remember the day you said, "Yes" and entered into a genuine relationship with God? If not, what prevents you from completing the most important transaction you'll ever make, The Salvation Transaction? Everyone can experience what those 3000 in Jerusalem did so long ago. Why wait another minute? 

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