the great Gospel trade-off
Imagine you saw this headline: Science Proves Eating Asparagus Cures Cancer.
That is good news, I believe.
You would head out and buy, plant, or acquire as much asparagus as you could. Because that's good news.
But it's also a trade-off. You have to give up something - especially if you hate asparagus. Or the after effects of asparagus.
All good things require a trade off - we surrender a lesser thing to enter into a good thing.
When Jesus came, He came announcing that His mission was to "preach the good news."
To tell people that the Kingdom was coming, and that they could enter it and live as the people of God. They could be free. They could be well.
But, there was a trade.
The Kingdom is like a man who finds a pearl of great price buried in a field. He sells everything - liquidates his assets - just to buy the field. That's all in - you can't go back. The treasure is worth it.
The good news invites us to a great trade off - surrender to gain, relinquish to possess, leave behind to move forward.
You're shaking your head, "Yes, yes" - aren't you?
But here's a wrinkle : sometimes the trade off isn't what we want. It isn't what we expect or it doesn't seem like good news. For example...
Jesus' birth was "good news that will be to all people" - people here is the word ethnos, which means "nations." To a Jewish person, it means "Gentiles."
People that don't deserve good news.
People that we'd like to see receive bad news.
The politician we want exposed as evil.
The devious, backstabbing former friend that we want to see "get theirs."
Good news is a trade off. The Gospel requires that we surrender our desire that Jesus be good news "to all people, specifically me and excluding anyone I don't think deserves it. By the way that list is subject to change."
What if we're ask to trade some of our carefully cobbled doctrines for a wide open view of what God might be doing?
What if we're asked to trade being right about God and others to being responsive to God and others?
What if we're being asked to trade our confidence in politics to rescue the world for entering into the world that is changing and sitting with it through the journey?
If we're being shaped by the good news, we are holding everything lightly. We are holding our attitudes, prejudices, and perspectives up to the Light - the one that came into the world and some people couldn't trade what they HELD for what they BEHELD - and waiting.
Listening. Patiently. Slowing so that we might be slowed.
Trading knowledge for wisdom. Trading busyness for beauty.
To embrace the good news requires that we trade anything that keeps us from living into good news for all people.
What are you being asked to trade today for the sake of something better?
What disciplines or practices is God calling you to take on - or give up - in order to live the great Gospel trade-off?