What do people hear when they attend your church service? Do they hear good news? Is it good to them or just to you? Is it "good news" because you think they should see it that way or because it really is? As I read through Luke's Gospel, I am impressed by the extreme opposite reactions to Jesus and His ministry. Within a very short time in Luke's Gospel we find one group of people ready to throw Jesus off a cliff and then we find another group of people crowding around Jesus to hear what He has to say. "...the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God." Luke 5:1 Where are the crowds like that today? There are indeed mega churches and there are churches where there is a genuine enthusiasm for attending week in and week out. We can debate and criticize the reason for various people's excitement but the question we should be asking is "why are they or why are they not coming to our meetings?" If we could convince our target audiences that we are willing to hear their honest answer to that question, we might find some surprising and sobering answers. We also might just receive the key that we need to unlock the hearts of people across the country. In fact, we might even be given the key to freedom in our own lives. Tradition is never a replacement for actual life. And it is life that Jesus offers, not religion, not tradition, but actual life.
Everyone should want life. Are we sure that is what we are offering? Dear Jesus,
Teach us to preach Your Gospel as it really is so that people might come crowding around You to hear what You have to say and receive what You have to give. And may You receive their worship and our worship, which is owed to You for Your great goodness. Jesus, be exalted!