I think most of us Christians have a lover's quarrel with the church. The freedom to struggle together for enlightenment is, in fact, one of the things we love most about being Christian.

My quarrel – definitely a lover’s quarrel – has to do with my church’s claim that we are to "be the gospel."

That makes no sense. The gospel is news – good news. We distribute the news, but we are no more the news itself than was the boy who used to throw the Houston Post on our roof, in the gutter, and occasionally on our porch.

We loved young Joey, but if he were the news, it wasn’t that good. And we Christians are not the gospel any more than young Joey was the Post.

The gospel is a treasure that we carry within us like those clay jars held the Dead Sea Scrolls. See 2 Corinthians 4:7.

We are important. We are not junk. But the good news we carry to the world is not about us; it is about Christ who lives within. He is the Word. He is the News. We are the vessels.

Another thing about clay jars: They break easily. Maybe we need to be broken open so the world can receive the really good news instead of a mere posturing vase on a shelf.


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