The Primary Purpose of the Church
(Meditation delivered in worship Christmas Day, 2016)
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.”
John 1:5 (Common English Bible)
Last night I shared in my message that the primary purpose of the Church of Jesus Christ is to proclaim the matchless Gospel of Christ to a world that desperately needs to hear Good News; the Good News of the birth of Jesus Christ and of the love of God.
Friends, wherever there is fear, the Gospel needs to be proclaimed. And wherever we advance fear, we have failed to grasp the Gospel. Wherever there is hated, the Gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be proclaimed, and wherever we advance hatred, we have failed to grasp the Gospel.
Wherever people are marginalized, regardless of the reason, whether it’s ethnic, or racial, or whatever the reason, the Gospel needs to be proclaimed. And wherever we advance the marginalization of people, regardless of the reason, we have not grasped the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we go into this New Year, we are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ. And we are called to share one clear message: that God’s love for the world, the whole world, regardless of what nation, of what religion people may have, is unconditional. God loves the whole world and we are to advance that as disciples of Jesus Christ.
We are to proclaim the matchless Gospel of Jesus Christ and we are to stop advancing fear wherever we see fear. We are to stop advancing hatred, wherever we see hatred. We are to stop advancing the margination of people because they are different from us. We are to stop being afraid as if the powers of this world are greater than God. Nothing is greater than the power of God that has been set loose in this world with the birth of Jesus Christ. Nothing. So cling to Christ, cling to Christ, the light that has come into the darkness of this world, and your fears will be dispelled. No darkness can extinguish the light of Jesus Christ.
Make no exception. Love your neighbor, whoever that neighbor may be. I’ll say it again, love your neighbor. Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in all that you do. That is what makes us a great people – when we cling to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us share it with the world. Let us stand and sing, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.”