I am not a writer by nature, but since part of my job is to be an agent of change, I write to fulfill a civic duty to my community here in Juneau and Douglas. My job is to be part prophet, part priest and part pastor —I believe it is the job of all believers to be a priest, prophet and pastor of their heart’s desire. My job happens to be to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, the Gospel.
My job, my vocation and my call to action for my life is to proclaim the Gospel, the Good News, for the world to the world. I write because the people I serve have asked me to speak out with the voice of a prophet, the commitment of a priest and the caring of a pastor, for I am all of those.
Our community has been hearing a lot of rumors, directions and sub-directing of some of the institutional churches’ desires to reform, reshape and redesign the gospel message of the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not locked up in institutional churches in town, and believers are not locked out of all the institutional churches in town. There are even people and places in town where church happens more outside of the doors than inside the church building; many faiths, many denominations, many colors, many genders, many different looking families, many ways of seeing God, many ways of believing of what are our hearts’ desires.
I am not going to tell you what your heart’s desire is or even tell you what it shouldn’t be. But I am here to tell you that there are places and people willing to help you figure out some answers to the God questions, the Bible questions and even some of the life questions. As an agent of compassion and faith in Jesus Christ, my questions about life and the Bible might be different from yours, but Jesus Christ calls us to listen to the faith questions and to have ears that hear. We are called as agents of Christ to listen and hear if the Gospel is being proclaimed, if the love of God is emanating from our lives as a beacon of love and light.
The Good News of Jesus Christ is that God first loved us and that we who understand that also understand that we are to love one another, our neighbors, friends and foes. It is easy to love those who are like us, those who believe as we believe. That is certainly gospel. But the Real Good News is that God loves even those who don’t think as we do, don’t believe as we do, don’t look or act as we do. Jesus didn’t hang out with anybody he should have hung out with. He ran with the wrong crowd, made a lot of the important people of his time angry, and still in the midst of all the self-righteousness of the church people of the time, he did the right thing — proclaimed His Gospel of Compassion and Mercy for all.
• Rev. Cindy Roberts serves the Douglas Methodist Church.