Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Don't limit the good news!

But the message of Jesus was good news not just for his original hearers; it is good news for us today as well. Jesus’s proclamation of the kingdom at Nazareth can help us unlearn dualistic habits of mind that shackle our reading of the gospel and limit the scope of God’s salvation. But it does more than change our understanding, important as that is.

The message of the kingdom that Jesus brings is good news most fundamentally because we, no less than his original hearers, desperately need the healing and redemption that he came to bring, a redemption that touches all we do. For we are, in multiple ways, caught up in the brokenness of the world, complicit in sin not just at the individual level but also as part and parcel of the fallen social order, which is out of whack with God’s purposes, living in a creation that is groaning for redemption. And we yearn for healing. The good news is that the coming of God’s kingdom impacts the entirety of our lives—our bodies, our work, our families, all our social relationships, even our relationship to the earth itself. The good news of the kingdom is nothing less than the healing (literally, the establishing) of the world (tikkûn 'ôlām), in which we are all invited to participate.—J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 261–62

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