Grace Notes 2024-01-24

Wednesday, January 24th 2024

Why is the Gospel Message so important? You might think of it this way, it connects the saving work Christ accomplished on the Cross to the potential individual believer. Consider it the delivery system. It delivers the benefits and gifts of what our Lord accomplished for us. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, for all people. And yet we must receive by faith the gift of salvation He accomplished in dying for our sins. We can’t go back in time and come to the cross, but the benefits come to us in the preaching of the Gospel.

Interestingly, the Greek word euangelion (pronounced ‘yoo-ang-ghel´-ee-on’) is usually translated into the English as “gospel”. It means “good news” or “good tidings”. You will recognize that the word “evangelism” is developed from this Greek word. To evangelize someone is to gospel them. That is, it is to share the good news of what Christ’s death and resurrection accomplished for us. And it is this message itself that becomes the means of our salvation.

The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Another way to speak about evangelism is to call attention to the teaching that all believers are called to be Christ’s witnesses. We are to witness to and of Him. We point to Him! Our actions can help do this, but words eventually are needed. In fact, without loving and merciful actions any words we use will be undercut. And not everyone may be gifted and comfortable verbalizing the gospel, but we can invite people to where the message is being proclaimed.

Saint Frances reportedly once said, “Go and share the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” Well, words are necessary. Actions may speak louder than words. But words will be necessary for others to know about Jesus and what He accomplished for our salvation.


Since You Asked…

What is the purpose of the “Silence for reflection and self-examination” in the Brief Order For Confession and Forgiveness? 

“The silence for self-examination and reflection should be an extended silence to enable personal application of the general phrases of the prayer that follows. Silence of one or two minutes is not too long” (Manual on the Liturgy – LBW). This is a helpful time to reflect back on our lives over the past week and ask ourselves whether we have been disobedient or unfaithful, bad-temperedor dishonest, or whether we have hurt anyone by word or deed. By allowing for this period of reflection we are able to personalize what would otherwise remain quite general.

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