Table of Good (10/6/16)

Pastor Mario R. Padilla · Wednesday, October 5, 2016
We watch the news and we hear a lot of bad news. We know there is evil, bad, sin in the world. We can’t escape it. In the midst of all this evil we see the good as well. If we are paying attention. If we are listening. The early Christians, the followers of Jesus were sent out into the world to proclaim and speak The Gospel. The Good news of Jesus. This was and still is their mission, our mission. We read in The Good Book, the Bible, as Paul speaks. He says to his listeners, “We are here to evangelize, tell you the good news of the promise of God… Jesus” (Acts 13: 32.) So they traveled the whole world telling all who will hear the good news of Jesus. That is what Christians do. They speak. They live the good news of Jesus. They present to everyone the Greatest Gift of all, Jesus.

They explain to everyone who will hear The Story, the Good Story of the Good and Beautiful God. The Story, the Meta-Narrative has seven chapters. This story is found in the Good Book – The Bible. Here it is….

Chapter One – Creation. The Good and Beautiful God creates The All, the cosmos and all in it (Genesis 1-2).

Chapter Two – Crisis (The Fall). The humans created by God in God’s image misuse the freedom God gave them. They bring sin, evil, wickedness, pain, suffering, violence, crime, hatred, fear, shame, brokenness and alienation into God’s beautiful creation (Genesis 3-11).

Chapter Three – Calling. God calls, elects and selects a people to use as messengers and servants to the rest of humanity (Genesis 12-18).

Chapter Four – Communication. God uses servants to communicate God’s love and message to all humanity. They need a Savior (Genesis 18 and the Old Testament).

Chapter Five – Christ, The Life, Story, Teaching of Jesus. All about Jesus who is the center of all human history. He is God’s Son who came and gave his life as a sacrifice and offering for all humanity. Jesus is the good news of God. Paul teaches this gospel, good news about Jesus is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who puts their faith and trust in Jesus (Romans 1: 16) (The Gospels).

Chapter Six – Community, the Church. We are in this chapter of the Larger Story of God. Jesus is using the community He left on earth to tell the good news to everyone they encounter (New Testament).

Chapter Seven – Consummation, the End of the Story. Into eternity and beyond life with God forever or the other side of death (Revelation and through the entire Bible). This is the Big Story of God. All of our lives are part of this larger story we are all in. This Story is presented by several authors in several books. The “Seven C’s” concept is found in Brian A. Maclaren’s “The Story We Find Ourselves In.”

James Bryan Smith wrote three powerful books to teach us about the good and beautiful. The first one is entitled, “The Good and Beautiful God.” He speaks about the God who is indeed good and beautiful. We were created to know and have a relationship with this God. This is possible through Jesus. The second book is entitled “The Good and Beautiful Life.” God wants us all to live good and beautiful lives. Such lives are reachable through Jesus Christ. The third book is entitled “The Good and Beautiful Community.” This is what the church of the followers of Jesus is to be to the world. This is in display all around us.

Every mission trip we take with the CYG youth we see the good and beautiful community of Jesus doing that which is good and beautiful in His Name. We see ourselves, as Mother Teresa put it, as “the pencils in the hand of God” through whom Jesus does His good for the world. There is evil. There is good all around us too. Let us all become instruments of the Good and Beautiful God. This is what Jesus calls us to be.
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