At the end of the year, many TV and radio programs recap the year. In his sermon on Sunday, Pastor Lancelot also did a recap of 2012. This year definitely had its share of bad news: the financial crisis, unemployment, natural disasters (Superstorm Sandy), tragedies (Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings), and the conflicts in national and international politics. But in the midst of the bad news, we have the good news of Jesus Christ. From Ephesians 3:1-12, we have a portrait of Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. Jesus was the promised Messiah to the Jewish people and in general, Jews did not associate with Gentiles. So when Paul took the gospel to the Gentiles he was hated, persecuted, and imprisoned.
Salvation for the Gentiles was a foreign concept to the Jews. Paul described it as a mystery. Ephesians 3:6 states, “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise of Jesus Christ.” To the Jews, the Gentiles were unwanted and unworthy of salvation. But the good news is that the promise of Jesus Christ is for everyone!
Pastor Lancelot then challenged us to be mindful of those whom we may consider unworthy or unwanted in our society today. He told us that we must also extend the good news to those who are not like us and invite them to be a part of our lives in Christ.
May we embrace this challenge in Christ’s empowering love and grace.