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The Gospel According to Julius Randle

March 20, 2013

I live in Kentucky.  Basketball is king.  Today, Kentucky fans  have been mourning a season of disappointment.  However, over the past several hours, I have read the  name Julius Randle about a million times through social media.  Why?  Because today, he signed with Kentucky.  As one of the top high school basketball recruits in the nation, his arrival brings hope to those who are in despair.  The reaction has been unabashed and unrestrained, thrilling joy – dancing in the streets and everywhere else for that matter.  This is very good and much needed news.  It is gospel for Kentucky fans.

Now, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  I do, as a sports fan of my own teams, know the elation of being excited about my teams’ future because of the arrival of a new player.  This blog really isn’t about sports, though, and it really isn’t about Julius Randle.

It’s really about the Gospel.

For a moment, as I witnessed the hoards of fans transitioning from despair to joy, I remembered the true and potent meaning of the word gospel.  It is a word used so often  that its power has been lost.

Gospel is a term meant to describe an announcement that brings incredible and uncontrollable joy.  The birth of a child.  The winning of the lottery.  The victorious end of a war.  And yes, in Kentucky, the signing of a top recruit.  This is “slap your mamma” and “gnaw off your leg” good news.  Gospel announcements bring the kind of joy that makes you dance like no one’s around.

The word gospel (literally meaning “good news”) was first used by Caesar Augustus (not the other Julius – Caesar that is) to describe the process of sending  evangelists to every corner of his kingdom to announce his arrival to the throne.  He promised to be the savior to all and bring peace and prosperity on Earth.  Jesus and the New Testament writers took this word to describe the telling of the good news that Jesus has arrived and staked his own supremacy over sin and death, as well as the establishment of eternal life.

Has there ever, for those of us who believe in Jesus, been better news than the announcement of the arrival and accomplishments of Jesus?  Burn Twitter and Facebook up with this news!  Believers everywhere should rejoice because this news takes us from tragedy to glory.

May every follower of Jesus live with the full power and joy that accompanies the good news of Jesus Christ, and may we never, ever tire of hearing it again.

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