I follow Christ because of his Gospel of joy, love and forgiveness.
It is sad and ironic that so many wars and acts of violence,
so much inquisition and persecutions,
the subjugation and domination of peoples,
so much pain and suffering have been wrongfully committed in his name.
Today, there is a more pernicious distortion of the Gospel of Christ.
It is the gospel of prosperity that preaches cheap grace.
Bonhoeffer defined cheap grace as “the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”
Wealth, prosperity, and material comforts are seen as the blessings of discipleship.
These inhumanities done in the name of the Gospel and these distortions of the Gospel
are reasons many people would say these cannot be the work of God.
And yet Christianity persists, for the most part and pretty much consistently a force for good and happiness in the world.
I realize that the power of Christ’s Gospel is its being lived out
in the hearts and homes of ordinary people,
not in mansions of affluence nor along corridors of power.
It is when two or three are gathered in his name and break bread and share lives
that Christ’s Gospel of joy, love and forgiveness truly comes alive.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”