“And Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’"  [Matthew 28:18-20]

So, can I make the assumption that you are a Christian?  If that’s true, you understand we’ve been commissioned by Jesus as His “Ambassadors of Good News,” right?  What that means is that you and I are representatives of a message of good news about God.  This is important because many people have an impression of God as bringing bad news to us in the form of judgment.  This is unfortunate because God has been improperly represented.  But, that is exactly why you and I are so important.  We are called by God Himself to change that impression.

The biblical word for “gospel” simply means good news.  And why is it good news?  Exactly because it is the opposite of what people think is bad about God.  God is not all about judgment.  He is all about love, forgiveness, grace, empowerment, and acceptance.  Yes, He is the judge, but He’s already taken out His judgment on Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus – the One who was punished on a cross precisely so He would not have to punish us.  So then, in fact, we are doing God a great disservice when we think of Him as that angry old man in the sky who is ready to stick it to the next guy who sins.  To think and promote that kind of image on God is to discount Christ’s death, saying that He died in vain.

Our message is that God is not mad.  He is waiting like an anxious father, out in the front yard, staring down the street, looking for any sign of his children coming home.  He is waiting to welcome us – to run out into the street to smother us with a hug even before we can get a word out.  He cleans the dirt of the world off us, dresses us in His royal robe, puts the family ring on our finger, and then (the farthest thing from anyone’s mind) He throws a party for us!  Does that sound anything like the God most people outside the church picture in their minds?

So, that is why we are so important.  If you and I don’t spread the word of truth about God, who will?  We are here to share the good news about God with people who have it all wrong.  The easiest way to do that is to share your own story of being welcomed home.  To hold back that good news is like knowing the cure for a disease and not sharing it with folks who need healing.

“And then Jesus told them, ‘You are to go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.’”  [Mark 16:15]