Luis Fernando Batista 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. 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 SÃ£o 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.
|LuÃs Fernando Batista lives in SÃ£o 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 SÃ£o 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.|