In my early 20s, I lived in an area of the country where there was a strong pocket of a denomination that is obsessed with Biblical prophecy. One year, pretty much everyone in my city got the same weird flier in our mailboxes.
Being both a pastor and a theology student, I couldn’t resist going one night. And it was amazing. But amazing in the way a movie like Suicide Squad is amazing, in that while you’re watching it, you’re thinking, “I can’t believe how utterly, truly awful this is – and at the same time, they put in a lot of work on this. But it is a total dumpster fire.
And, as you might have guessed, the whole thing was a gospel presentation, so it ended with inviting people to ask Jesus into their hearts. The whole thing was so bizarre and confusing, I can only imagine their hope was either to overwhelm us as an audience and hope we convert because we’re confused, or maybe they hoped to scare us to Jesus with all the fire and brimstone.
Either way, I walked away frowning, because nothing they shared was very good news.
Let’s revisit the reality that far too often, the way we talk about Jesus just doesn’t sound like very good news. We make him abstract, reduce him to theological concepts. We resort to shame, guilt or fear. But the truth is, Jesus is good news in large part because he’s personal to each of us. And