Danny Gutierrez on The Good News
This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. Danny’s local city newspaper is the Pioneer Press in St. Paul MN. Here is Danny Gutierrez on the Good News.
THE GOOD NEWS
People are fascinating. And because they are, my wife and I enjoy preparing food and having people over to eat and share their stories as one of our favorite pastimes. Few people recognize that in some sense, they are much like screenplays, sitcom writers, or authors of powerful drama. We often remark after goodbyes have been said, candles blown out, and the dishes are being cleared, “They have the most amazing story.”
And then we do it all over again, because we know that beyond the pleasantries, the official career titles, and the cultural heritages are more fascinating stories and personal histories.
I suppose the concept of Good News has a thousand ways to be explained. But at its core, I believe the Good News is an intersection of two powerful stories: one ancient and transcending, one that is recent and deeply personal. One that is His and one that is yours and mine. In a sense, the ancient and new each gives life to the other. Thus this Good News spreads not because the story of Jesus was, but because the story of Jesus still is.
The Good News is good because the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection changes the personal story of those who choose to embrace its reality and power for today. When the pain, unmet expectations, and missed opportunities, the emptiness and struggle of our life stories encounter the Light of God’s love and His unyielding desire to mend what has been broken, something good and worth sharing happens.
Jesus said, “Until John the Baptist, the Law of Moses and the message of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.” (Luke 16:16 NLT, emphasis mine.) Before the message of Jesus, people had a list of rules, mandatory rituals, and for the most part, scary prophecies about the future. Then the stories of lives being turned right side up began creating a buzz, even when Jesus was asking people to keep it quiet.
The Good News was that Bartimaeus, a blind man, could see. That a lady with an infirmity that made her bleed for years was healed. Zacchaeus, a tax collector bent on avarice, was giving back the money he stole. The psychopath of the town of Gadara had completely changed. The man with a withered hand was cured, and the daughter of Jairus was raised from the dead. And did you hear about the foreigner with leprosy that was cleansed? The stories back then kept pouring in.
And the stories today continue to pour in. Earlier this year, my friend Mario Javier thought his life was over because of a terrible divorce. But now he smiles with new purpose because of the Good News.
The story of Jesus without our own personal stories as witness of its power makes this Good News merely Old News, or at best Good Theology. The miracle happens when we are able to see that His story changes everything in ours. And when that realization comes we feel compelled to pass it on.
“’Your brother is back,’ he was told, ’and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’’’ Luke 15:27 (NLT)
The Good News is beautiful in all its simplicity: Our brother is back. Our sister has returned. Our children are healed. Because of the sacrifice our Father made in Jesus, we celebrate because of their safe return.
Good News is always worth celebrating, and people’s stories of safe return are always Good News.
|Danny & Stephanie Gutierrez are church planters in St. Paul, MN. Danny grew up in Peru where his parent’s are still missionaries. He worked on the Small Groups staff at a large church in the Twin Cities for over 10 years before making the leap to plant a church. His greatest joys are his wife, two daughters, and all the amazing people he calls friends.|