I’m continuing my quest to spend this whole month sharing a blessing, each day (well, MOST every day), right here on this space. I hope you’ll join me, find your own blessing, thank God for it, and focus on that with me… but it’s up to you.
At the heart of the Christian faith that I share with billions on this planet is a very simple message that, over the decades, has been used and abused, by generations and centuries of basically political animals, for purposes to which it was diametrically opposed. Whew… Got that?
So where’s the blessings? Throughout the centuries, whether it was the simple believer who did his work in the fields day to day, or leaders and prophets like St. Francis and Jan Hus and Augustine and Origen and the Hesychasts and revivals like those of John Wesley or Martin Luther or Azusa Street or even the gentle admonitions of Pope Francis to once again be the church that loves the poor… through all that time, the actual Gospel message didn’t get lost.
…from the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15(NLT)
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
Bless you God, that the whole story stuck with us, that it became creeds and confessions, despite the violence that surrounded so much of that… The Gospel… is still with us. God… is still with us.