I overshare. Not with complete strangers, mind you. But if someone familiar gives me a conversant inch with an affirming “I hear you!” I’ll take a mile of eye contact and attentive “ya knows?” I like to talk, albeit as an introvert. I’m not particularly good at conversation either. My StrengthsFinder Woo Factor leaves much to be desired. I l simply like to convey ideas, experiences and feelings in hope that it might engender something of equal or greater interest in the dosey-do of dialogue. It’s something I do at home, church, cocktail parties, and the gym. I know I do it, I don’t even care I do it – unless the recipient of my effusive explanation of why I prefer early AM workouts to evenings (because…indigestion, man) suddenly notices the cardio machines came with the membership and you can conveniently use them whenever you like (…alright, ttyl).
My proclivity to speech sets me up well as a pastor and (I think) an evangelist – though I’m not a closer. Never have been. I’m here for the company and conversation. All the ripe and ready seekers in my life would probably attest to that. I don’t even know the Sinner’s Prayer (aren’t all prayers Sinner’s Prayers?). I tend to leave a lot of room for the Holy Spirit to double down with classic illustrations of the Bridge to Life, pardon in the eternal court room, and The Roman Road.
Nevertheless, I enjoy talking about Jesus, and in doing so I can’t help share the gospel of his life, death and resurrection. Missiologist and author, Lesslie Newbigin explains what it means that the gospel can truly be referred to as good news.
The gospel is – by definition – news. It is something new. When we are confronted by something new we can only grasp it by trying to relate it to what we already know. This may be less or more difficult. Some “news” is quickly seen to be not so new after all; it is a foreseeable development of the existing situation. Some news is more startling. We could not have expected it. But now that it has happened we set to work to integrate it into what we already know, so that it does not totally upset our previous way of understanding things.
One of a few New Year’s resolutions I made was to write more in 2018. So here it goes. I would venture that the joy I’ve typically experienced in writing has come from a similar place as my tendency to TMI. God gave me the desire to convey ideas, experiences and feelings but something about blogging has always left me with a bad taste; as if in trying too hard to say something new, I would nearly always end up saying nothing at all (cue the Teacher, ‘Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”) But here’s the thing: the gospel is news! I’ve got news…good news.
So I resolve, here, before you three readers (if I’m lucky) to write the good news, to animate it’s novelty and enliven its reception in my life. This year I will write in hope, that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus would lend itself to redemptive oversharing. Wherein a word count full of imperfections: sentence fragments, dangling modifiers and insensitivities (they’re inevitable, but seriously I’m an enneagram 9, so, sorry!), I might somehow write words that twirl, and bind, and wrap and stick into an authentic expression of this startling news of Jesus. This is a lot to ask from a blog. I know.
But, what’s new? Jesus. He’s all the good news I got.