Thursday, April 24, 2014

Good News

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel...   Philippians 1:27

As I reflect over the week we just experienced, it was a glimpse of Philippians 1:27 above!  I have been thanking God all week for His unmerited grace that met us and sustains us as a church body. Most of you readers are aware, but reminding ourselves never gets old, that the English word translated gospel finds its roots in the classical Greek language.  In classical Greek, an euangelos was one who brought a message of victory or other political or personal news that caused joy.  The word literally means Good News.

For followers of Jesus, we soak and exist in this good news.  The good news is that God loves and is for every person.  Jesus, the God-man left the perfection of heaven, humbled Himself, came to earth to fight a battle on our behalf, and emancipate us from being slaves to sin.  This good news is for everyone and, as the angelic messenger declared it is good news that will bring great joy to all people (Luke 2:10).  Its still Good News, PCC-- not just for not-yet-Christians but also for those of us who are followers of Jesus!  Take a moment and before you read on to ponder these questions: Is the Gospel still good news to you?  How are you living in and living from the Gospel, the good news today?

During Holy Week, I lived in the statement multiple times a day It's still Good News.  Last week we saw, clearer than ever, our vision of being a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, unified body of disciples living grace-filled, shame-removed, truth-valuing lives for the glory of God and good of people.  As our banner hangs in our sanctuary, we vividly saw people being changed by God's love and communities being changed through God's people.  Here are just a few of my reflections regarding how last week was Good News:
  • Our 50+ ministry and 20's ministry continue to share how their shared mission endeavor to Mexico was a life-changing experience.
  • Our team of 130, primarily made up of High School Students, but also with adults and children (3 generations on this trip) returned from Mexico completely spent but so alive from the experience of spending a week serving and growing in Christ. 16 people were baptized in Coronado on this trip.
  • Our short-term mission team in France served so well providing childcare to missionaries who were at a conference to recharge themselves.
  • On Palm Sunday, our kids choir joined our adult choir in singing Hosanna together!
  • This Easter, we had an all-time high number of PCC'ers step up and serve to create ambiance, paint sets, and beautify the campus with the Easter message and greet guests coming to worship at PCC.
  • Our Children's and People Development Ministries created a wonderful experience walking through the final days of Jesus.  It gave parents like me a meaningful event with my 5-year-old to worship and understand more fully the Last Supper and Gethsemane. 
  • Good Friday evening worship experience was such a tremendous preparation for Easter.  Multi-sensory, creative and gospel-centered, it was moving. 
  • On Easter, we gathered, we worshipped, the Gospel was declared, and we baptized.  It was glorious.
As I reflect on the week, my primary takeaway is that being Good News is the only way to live!  Don't you agree?  Thanks to all who served, sweat, sang, practiced, obeyed and worshipped to make Easter what it was.

This Sunday, we will hear from those participants on the High School Mexico Mission Trip.  It is a great follow up to Easter hearing from students and adults about life change.  You won't want to miss it.

I love being your pastor!