Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Joe Racek 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. Joe’s local newspaper is the Culver City News. Here is Joe Racek on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

Just yesterday my house started shaking violently. My kids ran from their rooms and we all gathered in our living room while the house continued to shake. Although I’m used to earthquakes now, I wonder how long it will last and more importantly, will it get worse? Maybe I should have gotten that earthquake insurance.

Living and working in Culver City, it seems that most of us have stability and everything we need. Who can beat the West Los Angeles weather? The formidable Sony Studios resides here – we can always rely on entertainment. We enjoy the benefits of being in LA, yet remain our own city with its school system, fire, and police department.

We have security all around us yet it doesn’t take much to reveal that despite it all, we may still be standing on shaky ground. Maybe we only feel it during the seconds of an earthquake. Maybe we only feel it when we are thinking about the future or our declining house values.

We live in a world where there’s not much we can count on. We can’t count on our government, we can’t count on our financial systems. We often can’t count on those who make us promises or offer some type of hope. And though we are disappointed time and again, we still want to count on something.

It’s in this context where God offers us good news that makes even the best things we’ve got going for us pale in comparison. What is this good news that God offers? It’s that God can be counted on at all costs. And this is shown most of all through Jesus Christ, who has loved us with a faithful commitment, a faithful love that will last even if all else crumbles around us.

Jesus has shown the world that He can be counted on at all costs. A cross is the central symbol of Christianity, and as we look at it, we see faithfulness. We see the very definition of faithfulness which is to follow through with a commitment regardless of how difficult it gets. The cross shows someone who will be faithful to you through the toughest of times. Someone who you can count on to the very end. Someone who will love you, no matter what the cost. Someone who has defeated death itself and invites us to something new.

And because Jesus has defeated death, He invites all of us to a new beginning and a restoration that will never be shaken. The good news is much better than a bailout. The good news is not just a forgiveness or payment for debts, but an opportunity to truly correct what has been wronged- whether against us, around us, or even in us. It’s a chance to begin a restoration of who we are, our relationship with our Creator, others, and this world that was given to us. It’s something that outlasts everything, found in someone we can truly count on.

For the last 7 years, Joe has been pastoring and helping to start two neighborhood churches with the Kairos Los Angeles Network. He has a passion for creating communities where people can experience the living God and live out how God has uniquely designed them. He also enjoys playing hockey, fixing things, and being outdoors whether its trying to surf, fish, or chase the kids around in the back yard. Lisa spends her days homeschooling their four children. Her heart is to encourage women to live out their calling in life, and to help Joe in ministry wherever its possible. Joe and Lisa have been married for 9 years and have 4 children, ages 7, 6, 5, and 3. In June they will be making their big move across the country, joining back with nlcf, the church where they met in Blacksburg, Virginia.


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