From its beginning, the Good News has been apolitical and non-national. When pushed to choose between faith and empire, the way of the Good News has been to respond with non-violent defiance and refusal. Our faith life is not measured by how materially abundant or wealthy is our life and not by how much political or cultural influence we have. Our faith life in no way embodies, is connected to, or dependent upon or subservient to patriotic fervor or national loyalty or good citizenship. Our faith life is measured by how we attend to and improve the lives of others – by feeding them, quenching their thirst, clothing them, visiting them in prison, healing them, and welcoming them. Keep in mind that this is a deliberately incomplete list. It works in much the same way as when Jesus tells Peter to forgive, not 7 times, but 77 times – the point being that by the time you forgive someone 77 times, it has become, not an act that has been repeated 77 times, it has become a habit, a path, a journey, a way of life. The point is that by the time you develop the habit of feeding, quenching, clothing, healing, welcoming, and visiting prisons, you have created a new life complete with new values and new goals and new vision. Once you get to this point, you have discovered and claimed not earned and embodied your grace-given membership in the family of God, a membership exemplified by faith, love, and service.
Found this post & blog when looking for related articles to our “Love your Enemy” post earlier today – the blog was linked to in a comment to one of the related articles.
What struck us is the reality of ownership of the “Good News”. As stated in the quote above, the Good News isn’t aligned with any one political group, persuasion or even one nation over the other.
This ownership thing really bothers me as there are many times ties to ones “Americanism” & patriotic life when one relates their feelings about how one is to relate & share the “Good News”.
Often a sense of ownership is also at the claim that the only way to the Father (God) is through Him (the son), especially when the receiver of that message feels a sense of arrogance being expressed along with the “ownership” of the only way to “heaven” or to the Father.
You see, the rest of the quote above tells the story better than I can. But I’ll give it a try!
When the life of the believer is lived in service, as an example of the love of Christ & so that the viewer or receiver of that “service” or servant attitude sees someone living the life of Christ, they are more likely to relate to the message of love, be more receptive to the resurrection message & maybe even act on it.
Even if they are perceived as an “enemy” by the deliverer of the “service”, the service if done to one of the least of these is then done on behalf of & TO Christ himself.
That is what “gets us” to heaven anyway! Isn’t it?
Living the life of Christ so others see it in you is the life that Christ wants us to lead!
Relating this to homelessness – please consider that the “service” or servant attitude shown to a homeless person in the name of showing the love of Christ to them & that they too are loved by Christ & God, we can make a substantial impact on the homeless, possibly motivating them to accomplish for themselves what others cannot do for them.
Check out the entire blog post below where we got our inspiration for the way to express how we feel about “ownership” of the “Good News”.
- How to love someone you don’t love (geneveith.com)