Sunday morning our pastor asked what we were known for. And a member answered, “Abortion.” It takes me a while to process stuff. But my response is that if opposition to abortion is what we are chiefly known for, then we have really lost our way as people of Christ. What is the chief business of the church? Jesus laid it out clearly when he began his ministry, it’s all about him.
In Mark and Matthew Jesus begins his ministry. Proclaiming the gospel of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15) The gospel of God is nothing other than Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. The kingdom of God is at hand because Jesus is at hand and he is God’s kingdom. When we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your Kingdom come,” we are asking Christ and nothing but Christ to rule in our lives. When Jesus says, “repent and believe in the gospel.” He means for everyone to turn away from all the other stuff we thought was so important and trust him and his message and the message about him.
In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quotes Isaiah and the psalms to explain the nature of his ministry and ours. The Spirit of the Lord has anointed, set him aside, to tell the Good News to the poor, to announce forgiveness to prisoners of sin, those who have missed the target of God’s expectations, restore sight to the blind and those who can’t see their way through the darkness, forgive those who are shattered by what has happened in their life and what they have done and to announce that this is the year, the time, when the Lord is acting favorably, with grace.”
Then he closed the book sat down and said, “This passage came true today when you heard me read it.” Good news of grace in Jesus, forgiveness in Jesus, giving people a way through in Jesus, and that day and that year is still in effect. That is the chief business of the Church.