Friday, March 28, 2014

Morning Psalm: 88 | Evening Psalms: 91, 92
Genesis 47:1-26 | 1 Corinthians 9:16-27 | Mark 6:47-56
Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
St. Paul boldly pronounces judgment on himself if he does not preach the gospel. The message has encapsulated his heart in such a way that nothing else is more desirable to preach. It is a message that spoke in his very fiber and being. It spoke into his everyday life that was wrought with sin, darkness, and brokenness. St. Paul knew the kind of darkness sickening the Corinthian church. It is the same darkness that sickens us, and the only cure is the gospel.
The gospel, in all of its beauty, contains the message that Christ has regarded our sinful estate and has shed His own blood for our soul. He is the central figure to our hopes and dreams. The message that contains His identity and work is the only message that can heal all people. In our passage, St. Paul even dares to be become all things for all people that more may know Jesus. The gospel, in the radical nature of God’s love and grace, makes us do crazy things. We may find ourselves foolish for the sake of others. We may find ourselves even loving our enemies, the people we naturally hate, because the gospel of grace sets us free to love even those we view as the least.
In this Lenten season, we come face to face with our desperate and dead condition. We face the sin that continues to choke us, the guilt that consumes us, and the shame that makes us anxious to the core. What is the good news? Where can I find it? It cannot be within, but a one way love through the perfect sacrifice once offered on the cross. The cross declares the innocent one (Jesus) guilty and the unrighteous (us) innocent.  Friends, woe to us if we do not preach the gospel.  


Joe Gasbarre
MDiv Student
Buffalo, NY


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