When I pondered the idea of doing a Lenten devotional in December 2017, Michael Boss suggested the idea of “The Gospel According to ________________” as a theme. I already had a theme in mind for last year, but I put Michael’s idea away for future use.
As I read through the Gospel readings for each Sunday, I saw that some of them were hard words to hear, and I thought about the question of “why is this good news?” Why is it good news that the Prodigal Son is thrown a party when he returned home after squandering his inheritance? Why is it good news that a fig tree is going to be thrown to the fire for not bearing good fruit until the gardener saves it and asks for another year to give it extra attention? Why is it good news that a woman pours expensive oil on Jesus’ feet and dries them with her hair?
As I started reading the devotions that people submitted, I started thinking that a better title would be “Good News” as it is literally what the word “Gospel” means. The Koine Greek word for “Gospel” is εὐαγγέλιον (transliterated as euangélion), which means literally “good message”. (Our English word “Gospel” comes from the Old English word “gōdspel”.) In any language, the Gospel is “good news”.
It *IS* good news that Jesus longs to wrap us in His arms and protect us like a mother hen protecting her chicks. It *IS* good news that God welcomes each sinner back to the fold when we stray. It *IS* good news that Jesus died on the Cross for us.
Every devotion is laid out the same way. There is a passage to read, a reflection, and then a prayer at the end. We at St. Paul’s wish you a blessed Lent and Holy Week.