April 18, 2013 - Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 38:21-39:8; Luke 8:1-21

Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, (Luke 8:1)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “Bringing the glad tidings.” That's a pretty good translation of “evangelize.” Jesus was bringing Good News. Don't you love Good News? The test turned out better than you had hoped. Your grandma doesn't have cancer. That girl or boy said they'd go to the dance with you. Those are some examples of good news. But sometimes the news is bad. Sometimes we get good news in this life and sometimes it's bad news.

But the kingdom of God only has Good News. Glad tidings. The message that sinners have been saved. Sins are forgiven. Death is defeated. Life is everlasting. Jesus is risen. Sometimes it appears that the bad news of this world makes the glad tidings of God's kingdom not quite so glad. But that's taking the short view. There's repentance there. As if what Jesus has accomplished and delivered to you could be overcome by a little bad news!

When you want to hear Good News over against the bad news you hear every day, then remember your Baptism — nothing but glad tidings there. A birth announcement from above. Hear the words of preaching and absolution — nothing but glad tidings there, telling about just what sort a God you have, one who saves you from sin, death and hell. The Lord's Supper. That's more good news and glad tidings, of a meal that celebrating a wedding between Jesus and His church, a definite cause for celebration!

Most of the religion in Jesus' day was about keeping on the pressure to behave and please God. No wonder Jesus coming along was glad tidings! In the world today, most religion is the same, just some self-help encouragement to get right with God. That's not good news. But the Good News of what Christ has done is always glad tidings because it always rescues us from the world's bumming news of despair. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Alleluia! Now we cry, To our King immortal, Who, triumphant, burst the bars Of the tomb's dark portal. Come, you faithful, raise the strain Of triumphant gladness! God has brought His Israel Into joy from sadness. (Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain, LSB 487:5)

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