(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
by Marti Fischer
I don’t think there is any way we can overstate the importance of our presence in the world and the urgency of our message to introduce the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward — to Everyone Everywhere.
This is not because we are entering into a time of unprecedented need for Jesus Christ — we have been, are, and will forever be in need of Jesus.
The importance is not because we are experiencing a new season of defense for the Gospel. With or without us, the Gospel has stood, is standing, and will continue to stand.
The urgency we are experiencing is not because we have been given a new mandate to address the redeeming power found in the cross. The message was, is, and will be because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy made and is making us alive with Christ even when we were and are dead in transgressions — it is by grace we are saved (Ephesians 2:4-5 paraphrased). And it is because of that grace given to us that we are compelled to turn it out to everyone freely.
We are not being made more ready to enter into the marketplace, or to our neighborhoods on both sides, or within our own homes. We have been, are, and will continue to be ready because, by the grace given you and me, we say to every one: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you and me (Romans 12:3 paraphrased).
The signs of the times and discussions within the marketplace today are not indications of an incredible opportunity for us to rewrite the past, today, or tomorrow. We are only to reframe the signs and the discussions so that we might introduce the Gospel of Welcome — the Gospel of Grace — the Grace, which is given to us so that we might give it out in every relationship and every opportunity to connect with one others.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20).
This is an opportunity like no other. It is with great gratitude we say with full humility, “Thank You Jesus that you privilege me with the opportunity to introduce your Gospel of Welcome — Your Grace Turned Outward — to Everyone, Everywhere.”
This is, indeed, our time.