There is a guy who lives within walking distance to 10101, and this guy recently shared this prayer with me:
Friends and readers, today I share about the Gospel, the rescuing message for man from God, and about how I pray the Gospel back to God. For reliving the Gospel should be the repeating story of my life.
What, God, is your Gospel? It is the message that you are the Creator God of glory, who created us to obey and worship you, promote and bless other men, and control the earth for its good. —Today I will worship you, bless other men with a willing heart, and care for the animals and world in my path.
But the Gospel continues that we quickly refused to obey you, Lord God, and denied you worship. This damaged us, for you designed us to remain alive and achieve full health only by praising you, and then we proceeded to ruin, slander, rape, and murder others, wreck the earth, and then the supreme insult. We made up new things to worship instead of you. –Today I will watch my thoughts, so I do not long for my old ways as your enemy.
So we were your enemies, the Gospel says, and we owed you a debt of worship we could never repay. We could not and did not want to undo our insults, and our debt kept increasing with time. If we were to come back to life and friendship with you, your justice required punishment of our crimes. An innocent human would have to repay for us, for only a human can represent other humans, and only an innocent person does not have to pay for his own crimes. But someone more than human would have to repay, for no limited human could receive this infinite punishment. — Today I will mourn my evil, and reject the stupidity of worshiping anything less than the infinite.
While we were still your enemies, God, you made clear that in you was a community of three persons, all infinite in power and goodness, and that out of love one of these persons would take on a human identity. He would live an innocent life then endure the misery of your incalculable punishment. And he did…He was born and named Jesus Christ, lived in Israel in the first century, healed and taught and loved, was executed by his fellow men out of jealousy and mistrust, died, and then he went through the flames of hell for us. –Today and always, Jesus, I will thank you for this long, freakish, eternally frightful, gut wrenching sacrifice!
And this is where the Gospel, which means good news, gets its name. Once Jesus, the man who was God, received the full punishment for our offenses, He was honored for his unselfish sacrifice by being brought back to life from the dead. People saw him, touched him, and spoke with him. And God honored him further by lifting him up into the heavens and giving authority over everything that happens on earth to him. And all who admit that His life is worthier than theirs, believe that He rose from the dead, and entrust their ways of living, thinking, feeling, acting to him, God will raise from the dead when they die, and bring them into the bliss of heaven and His pure presence on the last day.– Today, Lord, I entrust my life to you, expecting a share of your presence now and its fullness upon the last day.
AND…if you, reading along, wish to begin the adventure of life eternal, consider to yourself: can you, with an honest heart, say to Jesus: “Jesus, I believe that you exist as God, that you reward those who earnestly seek you, and that you died and rose from the dead. I accept you as the Lord of my life whose ways I will find out and then follow”? If you have said this, I welcome you as a brother or sister into the family of God. How sweet it is to share in Christ’s glory with you! And if you cannot honestly say this, pursue what would enable you to sincerely believe such things – revisit your disbelief in miracles, or in Jesus’s historical existence, or your questions about the goodness of Christ’s ways. God and thoughtful believers will not be impatient with your questions. And upon satisfaction, accept the Lord and his untiring mercy with great gladness. The angels in heaven, the Holy Church, and I will rejoice with you on that day!