One of the purest gospel passages in the entire New Testament, 2 Corinthians 1, can be reduced to one word that describes the dynamic, glorious, inexpressible implication of the gospel: that word is Yes. In Christ God says Yes to the divine plan for the world, to the covenant with Israel, to the Trinitarian covenant, and to each of us.
I wonder if we might have today a Yes Fest: Where is God saying Yes as you read the Bible, as you listen to the Spirit, as you see God at work in yourself, your family, your work, your church and your community? Go ahead, speak up… Where can you say a big Amen to what God is doing?
Paul was accused being a Yes and No man, a man who seemed to say Yes but then ended up saying No — a fickle man who couldn’t be trusted. Paul, of course, denied he was a Yes and No man, but what he affirmed even more was that God was a Yes God, a faithful to-be-trusted God.
18 But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas[c] and Timothy —was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
And if you (I speak here to pastors first) can’t get a series of sermons on the word Yes, I’ve got a book for you. And if you (non-pastor) want to hear God’s faithful Yes to us in Christ — over and over — with stories and exposition and pastoral common sense, then I want to urge you to read Mike Glenn’s wondrous exploration of God’s Yes to us in Christ: The Gospel of Yes.
Mike sketches God’s goodness to us through one word: Yes. God’s favorite word, the problem with living with “No,” the Yes of creation, the Yes of the cross and resurrection and forgiveness and the Yes of You and Yes of destiny and of authentic relationships and of simplicity and finding Yes in it all…
… and when Mike asked me to write the foreword I said Yes because in that word I found so much good exposition of God’s grace that is alive and well in our world.
Some good books are hard to blog through because they spill their goods early and often — and once you’ve got them up it’s hard to keep repeating things; but a good series for a congregation keeps the same theme going until we all get it, and this Yes book by Mike does just that. This is a model for a series of sermons where you can declare the faithfulness of God weekly and show to your folks that God is on our side. In Christ God has said Yes. God’s Yes is what matters.
I wonder if we might have today a Yes Fest: Where is God saying Yes as you read the Bible, as you listen to the Spirit, as you see God at work in yourself, your family, your work, your church and your community?