The Kerygma

      Author and preacher Dudley Hall tells of a young man he's been ministering to.  As a boy, this man was abused by a very angry and wounded mother.  He was not permitted to sleep in the house with his sister's and mother, but made to go to the barn and spend his nights there.  He would awake each morning at dawn, and then wait till he saw a light go on in the kitchen, which would signal that breakfast was now being prepared for the rest of the family.  The boy would then go to the kitchen window, climb up and look in.  He would watch his sisters setting the table, and each time he would look to see if a place was set for him.  It never was.  He was always on the outside looking in.
       This is a heart rending story, for the world is filled with people who either are, or feel that they are in the same kind of position; on the outside looking in.  As Hall says, most if not all want to know how they may get in.  When it entails the spiritual realm and how one may come to God, most often, as Hall relates, people want to know what they must do to be found acceptable to God.  Hall says that when they are told of the right "way" or formula, or set of rules for doing so, this then becomes their religion, a religion that is all about works and deeds and proving one belongs, and acceptance is always based on what you've done, and always whether you've done enough or not.
      Hall has formed a ministry that he named Kerygma, which is a Greek word that means the message or proclamation that a King wishes to be delivered to his people.  It is a proclamation to be read and announced to all, and hopefully, to be heard and received by all.  Hall had the proclamation of Christ Himself in mind when he named the ministry, for this proclamation, the greatest ever made and found in Luke 4:18-19, was the Father's message in Christ to a world filled with people on the outside looking in, people, no matter their life station, or family background, who are born that way, separated from the Father, but with a way made open to Him through His proclamation of the coming and giving of His Son, Jesus.
      Have you ever heard that proclamation?  Have you ever received it?  Would you hear it now?  Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has appointed Me to preach Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppression, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."  Not will come, but has come.  Now, for you, for me, for all of us.  No one need live any longer on the outside.  No one need wonder anymore, long for anymore, to have a place at the table of the Father.  No one need live any longer as an orphan, but can now enter, through Christ, into the fullness of life as a son or daughter of the Father.  The proclamation has been given, have you received it?
      The great tragedy is that it is not only unbelievers who find themselves outside looking in, but so many who would profess faith and belief in Him.  Though called sons, they continue to live like orphans, always feeling his love and care must be earned.  They can't believe they actually have a place at the table.  They continue to live "in the barn," always at the window, always looking in.  
     There's a beautiful communion song titled "Come To The Table."  Through His proclamation in Christ, that is what we're invited to do, what we must do.  No rulebook, no formula, just a free invitation to come to Him, based only on His blood and His grace.  No longer an orphan, but now a son or daughter of the Most High.  The kerygma has been announced.  Have you heard it?  Have you received it?

Pastor O

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   May 2019   
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