This sermon series we are looking at the question “what is the gospel?” and how we can become better equipped “bearers of good news” as individuals and as a church community? Often we feel like we don’t have a lot to offer or are scared or intimidated in sharing any aspect of God’s good news with others. We might fear that we will stuff it up, or that they will think we are stupid, or that what we are saying sounds so implausible in post-modern 21st century Australia. On the contrary, I think the good news in all its many facets actually is very plausible and would interest a lot of people if we found the right entry point.
The good news for us Jesus followers is that he doesn’t need much to do a lot, and all we need to do is bring what we have and offer it for him to use. Our story and our experience of God is just that – it’s our story and if God has worked in us then we do have something to share, no matter how insignificant or pathetic we might think it is.
Jesus did a lot with nothing; in fact, he spoke the world into existence out of nothing. The two examples we often turn to from his ministry life to draw encouragement from in this regard are the feeding of the 5000 and the feeding of the 4000 (many more including women and children). The disciples felt overwhelmed when Jesus asked them to feed the hungry masses – to give them some “good news”, hungry as they were. Maybe even more overwhelmed than we feel when we think about sharing the gospel, our story of God’s grace, with others.
However, Jesus was not concerned in the slightest with the amount they had to offer. He was looking for faith and obedience. He could do as much with 5 loaves and 2 fish as he could with 10,000 loaves and 5,000 fish. So when they limply and timidly bring the ludicrously small token of food to offer him he responded by saying – that is enough. Now tell them to sit down in groups and see how I will use your very small offering. We know the story, Jesus blessed the food and multiplied it and every person got a full belly and there was plenty left over.
Jesus can do the same with us in the little we feel we have to share with others in proclaiming the good works of God in us, in our church and in and through his life and death and resurrection. It actually really is good news! When we step out in faith as opportunity arises and share this with people we need to relax and let the Holy Spirit take over and use it to work in ways we can’t see or imagine. Not everyone will respond and immediately fall on their knees, however I believe that God will honour our courage and do what we can’t do in others. So keep your eyes and ears open and when opportunity comes, step out in faith and let God use your little to do whatever he wants with your story and our story and his story.
Grace and Peace - Garry