Tell the good news

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works! <br,
Psalm 105:1-2

Psalm 105 is a celebration of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to the children of Israel. This energetic hymn recounts God’s promises, and his faithfulness in keeping his promises. Yet here in the first few words of the psalm is a command that Israel ignored—or interpreted to itself in a way that allowed the people to retain their separation, the invisible barrier they put up between themselves and other nations.
The psalmist says “make known his deeds among the peoples!” The children of Israel did no such thing. They sang this psalm and prayed this psalm and copied and published this psalm, but they did not share the good news with the nations.
When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven after his resurrection, he told his followers in no uncertain terms that God was tired of waiting for the good news of his love to get out. God had waited 2000 years since he chose Abram to be the ancestor of Jesus, and in the words of that selection, God had made it clear that he was not making Abram the father of an exclusive club. God said, “In you all nations of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1) God clearly wanted that good news to be shared, but it did not happen.
Despite the very clear words of Jesus, his followers today still hold their tongues. Jesus said “Go into all the world,” but we cannot be enticed even to go next door. We do not even tell our children. If we did, why would so many millennials have left the churches their parents still attend, never to return?
Some Christians equate the admonition to share Jesus with a fixation on numbers. We do not share Jesus in order to have bigger churches. In fact, the slightly condescending way people say, “We aren’t about numbers,” makes it sound almost unchristian to tell someone about Jesus. After all, if God wants that person in our church, God can make him come.
The same Christians who feel shocked by the suggestion that people should share Jesus sing “Tell everyone what he has done,” and do not seem to notice the inconsistency between those words and their own actions.
The is no question that God can do anything. The question is, what is God’s will?
The answer is that God does not desire that any should perish, and that is the reason he sent Jesus to die on the cross. However, it is not his will that he should force his will on a fragile human being. God’s will is that human beings are free to choose whom we will serve. In order to protect that freedom, God never forces us to do anything. He relies on appealing to the minds and hearts which he gave no other creatures in all the universe. He relies on each of us who has received his blessings to share those blessings with others. God loves us, and even though he loves us enough to die for us, he loves us too much to force us to follow him. He relies on each Christian to be his voice, his hands, his feet, to reach out to the people we meet and share the good news.
God wanted Abrams children to be a kingdom of priests. Through Christ, because if faith, we are Abraham’s offspring, and we, like the ancient Israelite, are called to “make known his deeds among the peoples!”

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