Proclamation

Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. — Mark 16:15

I said yes, but I had meant to say no.


On occasion, Anja and I joke that, if circumstances required, I could even strike up a friendship with a traffic light. I never understood the challenge of meeting new people if it wasn’t at work or the gym. The vast majority of my friendships formed because I looked at someone across the room and thought, for whatever reason, wow.

Six days later, here we are.

“But, do you also believe that…” the woman asks, sounding slightly more alarmed than I think she wants to let on. No, I don’t. “And what do you think about…” Many things, ma’am. I think many things about that. “But you could have found that sense of belonging with any other group, though, right?” The familiar caution when someone realizes I’m both who I say I am as well as a Christian. The bemusement that engulfs us when a thing blurs that was clear but a second ago.


Whenever a person interviews me, because it always takes the form of an interview, about why I identify as a Christian despite, well, everything, I never quite know what to tell them. Whatever eloquence I ascribe to my person vanishes at the sound of all the words in the known universe failing to capture what it means when I say I follow Jesus. Cringe.

I don’t think we’re meant to put it into words, anyway. Still, millions of sermons, door-to-door pitches, books, podcasts, mission project plans, and — more recently — #ThatChristianGirl prayer routine videos will have us believe differently.

Yes, but actually no. What I find in Jesus is not what I would find in a sports team, a choir, or a book club. But what do I find there, and how can I tell you about it if you ask without sounding like a nut case?


Ever since I met the woman for drinks, I’ve been thinking about how my pastor helped me through Mark 16:15 recently. I’m thankful I wasn’t the only person at Bible study who shivered at the thought of standing by Central Station with a tower of Bible leaflets. That’s what “proclaiming the good news” is, right?

I have so few proper examples of what Mark 16:15 looks like in the hands of a person such as myself, that I question their statistical validity. My faith proclamation has often taken the shape of a concession. The formula is simple:

Despite Christianity’s hyperfocus on the virgin birth, the resurrection, Biblical literalism, and faith healings, I’m a Christian.

Despite Christianity’s queerphobia, antisemitism, philosemitism, racism, abuse, mysogyny, misandry, and corruption, I’m a Christian.

Despite Christianity’s judgement of what is harmless, and forgiveness of what is harmful, I’m a Christian.

Despite our global lack of Biblical literacy, I’m a Christian.

Despite …, I’m a Christian.

Despite …

Despite.


Do you want to hear good news?

Here’s the good news.

Preach it at all times, and use words if you must.

What’s good news to a rose?

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