Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Luis Fernando Batista on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

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. Luis’s local newspaper is O Estado de S. Paulo. Here is Luis Batista on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

Due to the high traffic in São Paulo, every Tuesday I’m unable to drive my car during rush hour(s), so I must take the bus to my office. When this policy was first implemented I was extremely frustrated. First, it added an uncomfortable hour and a half to my trip to the office, because the bus drivers don’t mind packing the bus and taking all of the squashed people downtown. Not only that, but the bus goes through Jardim Peri, a very poor neighborhood that you don’t really want to walk through. Sometimes I wish I had a second car so that I wouldn’t have to take the bus.

But then I started to think about how I had lost touch with this kind of reality. When I take my car with darken window, I don’t see mothers carrying their sleepy children to school and back, nor do I see those overcrowded villages where huge families live in small unfinished houses with hardly any public services. As I have been pondering the topic of the good news this Easter, I started to wonder: What is the Good News for them?

I remember the story of the handicapped boy being lowered from the roof by his friends when Jesus was speaking. First Jesus told the boy that his sins were forgiven, which outraged the religious people. But I sincerely wonder how happy the boy got, since he was still unable to walk. I’m sure his friends were hoping he could walk again. Being forgiven of his sins made more sense to the religious people, than the boy. Lucky for the boy, because Jesus finished the job and healed him so that he could walk again.

When I remember this story, I wonder: How can the people from Jardim Peri accept all the wonderful messages we have read here when they don’t have enough money to pay their bills or take their kids to a doctor when they are sick? James tells us that it is useless to bless people if we send them away hungry. If it is time for us to spread the good news, it is time to live it out so that these people not only know the good news in words, but also feel the good news with loving actions. They need to experience the reality of the Kingdom of God that has broken in, in order to be a part of it.

For all who understand that the Kingdom of God is within our reach, know that we have plenty of opportunities to live out the good news. Not just within the four walls of the church, but in the world. It is time to live the good news to the point where people are overwhelmed with our acts of mercy and generosity.

And for those who are unable to see and experience all the beauty of what I have been talking about, yes, your sins are forgiven and the kingdom of God is here. And yes, there is hope! God is at work and is working on your behalf. So be faithful.

Luís Fernando Batista lives in São Paulo, Brazil with Heloiza (his wife) and his two children: Maria Ester (9) and Pedro Henrique (3). He is fostering initiatives on community building for church planting in São Paulo. Luis blogs in Portuguese and tries to explain some of what is happening to his friends abroad on his English blog. Besides blogging, he tweeters. He also coordinates missional conversation at Renovatio Cafe. Here is the English content for those abroad.


9 Responses to Luis Fernando Batista on The Good News

  1. Pingback: Meu dia de boas notícias « Checklist

  2. jrwoodward says:

    Luis,

    Your words really spoke to me. One of the reasons I helped to found the Solis Foundation (an organization that give micro grants to help start small businesses in the Turkana region of Kenya) and the Unembraced (an organization which partners with sister churches to help orphans) is because I too believe that those without need to experience the good news if we want them to hear the good news. Your words here give me greater motivation to see these ministries and others like them succeed. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection continue to motivate me to love as I have been loved. Thanks again for your piercing words. Peace.

  3. Good to know JR, you might know it better than me, though we are surrounded by poverty reality, our brazilian churches have make very little on serving them, my hope is that this missional mind might move our churches beyond walls to please God’s heart.

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  5. Sonja says:

    Luís,
    I really like the story of the ‘boy being lowered from the roof by his friends’ for it was the creative persistence looking for a solution and the faith and partnership of his friends that carried him through to find his way to Jesus.
    It sounds like a new ERA began:
    ‘ Where it is useless to bless people if we send them away hungry,
    They need to experience the reality of the kingdom of God that has broken in,in order to be PART of it.
    Time to live the good news to the point where people are overwhelmed with our acts of mercy and generosity’…
    How are you able to create an equal balance(not to become a hero to those who are in need) or to grow towards a healthy relationship by help out the poor, show acts of mercy and generosity where you can?

  6. PW says:

    Awesome post. I read it yesterday, but did not have time to comment until today. Happy Birthday, one day late. I liked what you said:

    “If it is time for us to spread the good news, it is time to live it out so that these people not only know the good news in words, but also feel the good news with loving actions. They need to experience the reality of the Kingdom of God that has broken in, in order to be a part of it.

    For all who understand that the Kingdom of God is within our reach, know that we have plenty of opportunities to live out the good news. Not just within the four walls of the church, but in the world. It is time to live the good news to the point where people are overwhelmed with our acts of mercy and generosity.

    And for those who are unable to see and experience all the beauty of what I have been talking about, yes, your sins are forgiven and the kingdom of God is here. And yes, there is hope! God is at work and is working on your behalf. So be faithful.”

    How very true! Thanks for this post that reminds us what and how others in the world and in our own neighborhoods are feeling!

  7. Sonja, thank you for your comment and for your good question, as a good question, it is a very good concern to have in mind when you are moved to live out your faith serving others. There is a tiny line between propaganda and model of life; I think the example of Jesus would help us a lot, he showed concern, he was beside people, healed them when it was need, but also focused on the matter of the service and told people to thank God by what they received.
    And you, how are you seeking for this equal balance?

  8. Sonja says:

    Luis,
    Thank you for leading the focus on Jesus as a model too and the response of the human being at the same time.
    Thank you for the question.

    I try to live my live treating others higher then self.To keep the dignity of an other human being high as self is important, for you can’t share what you don’t have,but what i have i do share.If its my time,hospitality,or to share a word of truth in love, or to visit someone who is lonely, to battle together with a friend in need of prayer,to share a word of encouragement or a weakness seeking to build each other up in love…etc

    I do practise the ‘disciplines for life’ knowing what is the RIGHT thing to do and act on it even when you know it will cost something, while you don’t feel like it.I’m learning to trust God through the proces and people too again…. He will renew the strength.I don’t need to boast.Yet try to overcome the thought ‘being invisible’….
    .
    In my state of ‘depression, brokeness and feeling so limited in my skills’ not being able to take care of myself as i hoped by not finding a fulltime job, like other people face at the moment too, i can’t always see clear and through the blindness i try to lean on to the ‘word of life’,sometimes seek advice, or just sit on the emptyness ,and admit: ‘wooh this has been a real bad day’,but to enable to count blessings one by one…..
    Knowing better days will come and that He will remain faithfull.

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