“Can the Gospel Be Good News Again?”
Gen. 1:1-5 John 1:9-10, 3:16-17 2 Cor. 4:5-7 1 Tim. 2:3-4
Rev. Paul E. Capetz
Christ Church by the Sea (United Methodist), Newport Beach
September 22, 2019
Preface (addressed to Lisa, Bruce’s widow): It is the minister’s task to preach good news that will bring joy and comfort to the hearts of people. But in a situation like the one in which you find yourself after such a tragic and sudden loss, it’s hard to find any words that can bring joy and comfort to you at this time. I wish I had the words that could lift the pain and sorrow from your heart today, but I don’t. All I can do is prayer that soon you will find comfort and know joy again.
Prayer: O God, if it is possible, speak your Word through my words; and if this is not possible, forgive me for my inadequacies and send other messengers through whom your Word can be heard. Amen.
The word “gospel” means “good news.” It refers to the Christian message that God has done something wonderful for humanity in and through Jesus. It was the gospel that first called the church into being. And it is the gospel that gives the church its reason for being. In worship each Sunday we gather to hear the gospel message anew so that we can be reminded of its import for our lives and to shape our lives in accordance with it. As Christians we are also called upon to share this good news about what God has done through Jesus with others so that they too may rejoice in it and live their lives in its light. Sharing the gospel with others is called “evangelism,” from the Greek word for “gospel” (euangelion). The word “evangelical” is the adjective derived from this Greek word. Our message is called evangelical because it is about this good news.