Rise to Herald the Good News
Legend has it that when the Greeks successfully defended their homeland in Marathon against the Persians in 490 B.C., a runner named Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of some 26.1 miles to bring the good news of victory. The way opened for democracy to continue for the philosophy of Plato and the rhetoric of Aristotle to continue, and the cradle of western civilization survived, and thus the tradition of the Marathon was born, still run today celebrating Phedippides’s good news and the ultimate test of endurance.
When Jesus conquered our world, releasing us from the forces of sin, darkness, and evil, Mark chose to herald the announcement with good news—the gospel. “The time has come, repent and believe the good news.” Obviously a herald’s announcement does not equate to heart change. We’re paralyzed by sin and self-righteousness. As good religious people, we’re like the code enforcement division of a community. We notice the problems of everyone else’s lives and want to protect and secure our community from the problems of other people. The gospel reveals to us that we are those people. We are the ones with ears stopped up, deaf to our condition of sin. We have busied our lives with so many idols, it’s hard to imagine a life fully surrendered to Jesus. We have been afflicted for years with conditions that we quietly keep to ourselves. We compete against each other in sports, business, and school until our lives are mired in a world of testing and competition. We are deeply afraid of what’s happening in our world, and we typically put our hopes in the wrong things or become obsessed about less important ones.
This is why we need a Savior. Jesus offered us a way to rise, take up our mats, and go home. This summer, he gives us courageous faith using the weapons of his word, touch, presence, example, teachings, miracles, testimony, writing, and sacrifice.
As we trust in him and follow obediently, we become the heralds. We don’t need to be able to run a block to be able to make an announcement. We run—and even crawl– through the streets of Tallahassee, New Orleans, Port Au Prince, Boston, and Pratt. We announce—and live—a victory that is certain. We deploy the same supplies that Jesus used to invite people to discover his reign and surrender to his lifestyle. Here’s what you can use this summer:
- Words—Use your language this summer to announce good news, not negative news to people.
- Touch—Needs a personal touch, hug, care and compassion from you
- Presence—Be fully present to someone else in the midst of their hurt.
- Example—Someone is watching everything you do. You set the example in success and failure. If you mess up, apologize; seek forgiveness, and extend mercy to others.
- Teaching—Learn about Jesus, and allow him to raise questions about his power over your life
- Miracles—So much of science today is miraculous by Jesus’ standards. Where is God intervening in your world?
- Testimony—Tell Jesus’ story to someone this summer.
- Writing —Journal and keep notes of the daily decisions you make to follow Christ. Record them to remind you of God’s work.
- Sacrifice—Take up your cross, and follow me. It’s not Christianity if it comes easily or naturally.
Run, tell, announce, the kingdom of God is here. 26 steps or 26 miles. We have a gospel to share. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon.