Good restaurants, good websites, good TV shows, good movies, good cars, good neighborhoods, all of these things we share with our friends. When we experience any one of these items I mentioned above and we like it, we can’t wait to tell our friends. While they may be good news, they all pale in comparison to THE GOOD NEWS.
First let’s take a look at just what this good news is. Jesus Christ is the good news for all of mankind. Yes, Jesus, the Christ or Messiah is the one foretold in Scripture who through His death on the cross and resurrection restored people’s relationships with God, and then He sent forth the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and heal the brokenness of those who hear his word and follow Him.
The Christian message of good news is described in the four gospels.Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead brought about reconciliation or atonement between people and God.
If this news of Jesus Christ is truly the greatest news of all time, why is it that we so freely share the news of good restaurants, cars, movies etc. with others, but more often than not, we remain silent about the Good News of Jesus Christ? Today more than ever, people are almost afraid to mention the name Jesus Christ in public. In this strange new world of political correctness, for fear we might offend someone, we just don’t use the name Jesus Christ.
Throughout history many who have gone before us have sacrificed everything including their lives to share this good news of Jesus Christ. Beginning with the apostles all but one, John, died a horrifying death defending their belief and commitment to share the gospel message. Since the time of Christ many saints have given their lives defending the right to share this news of mankind’s salvation.
There are two areas where I think Christians today, morethan in the recent past, are afraid or unwilling to make apublic profession of their beliefs. First,many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, when in a public setting, are often unwillingto sign themselves with the sign of the cross which is a simple but important profession of faith. Second, many Christians when asked to leada public invocation, are reluctant to mention the name Jesus out of political correctness concrens or for the misguided sense that by praying in the name of Jesus they will offend someone of another faith.
As to the first point, I cansay, Ilong for the day when all Christians will, when praying publicly sign themselves by tracing the symbol of the cross while saying “I offer this prayer in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Even if no words are spoken, we are uniting ourselves together as did the earliest Christians under the sign of the cross on which our sins were redeemed.
As to the second point, I find it disheartening when Christians, praying in public, often pray only to “The Father” without mentioning Jesus.Other times they pray even more genericly simply to “God”(any or all gods). Finally Christians sometimes pray a completely neutered public prayer by simply giving thanks for the day, or for the gathering, or for the gift of nature all prayed to an anonymous unnamed deity.
Because I believe that the good news of Jesus Christ is the best news in human history, can I make these two requests? Can we all as Christians, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, unite ourselves together under the sign of the cross? This simple gesture in public, professes our belief in the Trinity and in the gift of salvation given to us by the death of Jesus, the son of God, on a cross. Next may I suggest that if you are ever asked to offer a public invocation that you say some variation of the following message so as to make public your personal beliefs while at the same time respecting the beliefs of others:
Sample public prayer
“I realize that all of us here today are of many different faiths and beliefs. In our gathering today, we may have Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and many other faiths as well as agnostics and atheists. As for me I am a Christian, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Unity may I ask that as I pray to my God, that you take this time to pray to your God, or if in fact you don’t believe in God that you simply take this time reflect on life. I believe that there is one God, who has always been and always will be. My God is a triune God consisting of the Father, His Son Jesus Christ who came into this world suffered and died on a cross for the forgiveness of all sin and on the third day rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven and thereby opened the gates of Heaven to all who believe in Him. I believe in the Holy Spirit who together with the Father and the Son has came into this world as the Lord and giver of Life. It is to this God to whom I pray today and give honor and glory and praise. I ask His blessings on all who are gathered here today. May He guide us and protect us in all we do. As in all of my prayers I offer this, my prayer, to the Father in the saving name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
These are just two of my suggestions. I am sure you have ways of your own to make public your belief in Jesus Christ. It is not important that you use these two suggestions, but what is important is that as Christians we don’t shrink in our resolve to share the GOOD NEWS! Something this important cannot and should not be silenced by our secular world. Be brave in your public profession of your belief.
This Good news, is the news of eternal life. It is the news of God’s abounding love and mercy. It is the good news of light and life in the world. It is the news of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’s own words the good news is this: Jn. 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Heavenly Father, strengthen my resolve to publicly share the good news to all I encounter. I ask this prayer in the name ofJesus your Son, Amen.