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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Keep Preaching

"Those who had been scattered went about preaching the word." Acts 8:4

Finding the courage to continue announcing Good News when one is rejected or persecuted is one of the great challenges of discipleship.We should have no doubt that the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders was difficult for the apostles and disciples. Uneducated and illiterate for the most part, the disciples would find it difficult to defend the Good News formally or intellectually. Nevertheless, they continued to go around Palestine preaching God's word.

Most people who hear the Gospel these days benefit from a basic education, and a majority of the clergy have a sophisticated knowledge of the scriptures and church teaching. At the same time, defending the message of Jesus is as difficult as ever. While it is important for us as a church to articulate our faith carefully and comprehensively, we should not be naive. A few may challenge our theology or spirituality, but most people choose not to accept the Good News and no amount of argument or reason will satisfy them.

Jesus told us not to be afraid and to go from place to place preaching the Gospel, but he also warned us to think of God's love as a seed which we plant. Don't worry, Matthew warns us, about how the Gospel is heard or interpreted. "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet." (Mt 10:14) In other words, plant the word and leave the growth to God

Today, ask for the strength to preach the Gospel simply and powerfully.

When is it most difficult for you to live or preach the Gospel?


1 comment:

  1. I find it difficult at all times, because I struggle a lot with my own faith and serious questions on some of the tenets of Catholicism and collective Christianity. I'm trying very hard to turn this into prayer and ask God how I can live the Gospel more in my life despite my own agnosticism and sin.

    A positive story I wanted to share about sharing faith from yesterday. I was picking up my 8yo daughter from afterschool care when I asked her to please hurry her craft project she was doing with friends because we had to get to the 6:30 church retreat and had to stop home first! Her young friend, similar in age, said "I wish I could go to church and oh, that's why she knows so much about church and God."

    Curious about this comment, I asked about it prior to service, as we sat in the pews. "Your friend mentioned she wished she could go to church - does she go to church with her family? What did you guys talk about?"

    She replied, "I told her about the true meaning of Easter - it wasn't just about the Easter Bunny, the candy and all that stuff. It was about God fighting death and rising after 3 days. If He didn't do that, we wouldn't have a way to get into Heaven."

    If only, I could have that child-like faith again. Confident, sure, and unafraid to spread the Good News.

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