This is the good news: you were created to know that you are a son or daughter of your heavenly Father; and to exercise life-affirming rule as a king or queen in this world, delegated to you by the King of the Universe.
If you don’t recognise that, if that is not your experience, you need to be set free. Perhaps you have never known freedom; or perhaps you have known freedom in the past, but somewhere along the line you have been taken captive – by fear, or hurt, or jealousy, or the false promises of wealth or importance – and have forgotten who you were created to be, what you were created for. To a greater or lesser degree, every one of us needs to be set free, again and again: this is not an in/out divide.
Again and again the Bible records how God comes to set people free – from slavery in Egypt, from idolatry in Israel, from exile in Babylon, from impending destruction by Rome (that Prophet was thrown out of the city and killed) – and restore them to their rightful place in his vision for the world. And the ultimate expression of this coming and setting people free, to set others free, is found in the person of Jesus.
This is our story: the story in which we find our identity: the identity in which we find security, in an uncertain world: the security which enables us to live confidently, in uncertain times.
You may have heard other accounts. That the Gospel is about forgiveness, perhaps. The Gospel includes forgiveness (it is a key by which we are set free, by which we set others free); but a Gospel of forgiveness is at best incomplete – we are not only set free from slavery, but set free for sonship and kingship – and at worst a gospel of sin-management rather than transformation. Or perhaps you were told that the Gospel is an invitation into heaven. And it is, but not as an other-worldly other-timely promise: it is the invitation and challenge to step-into the kingdom of heaven – the sphere of God’s reign – in this world today, and to extend it, driving back all rival claims, and inviting/challenging others to do the same.
It is about time we rediscovered the Good News.