good news and bad news...

There's the gospel...

and then there's the lepsog... (gospel backwards)

sometimes the gospel seems backwards to me. like depending on how I look at it, it either feels wonderfully pleasant or horribly painful. The gospel is a revival, the lepsog is a funeral. The gospel is prosperity, the lepsog is poverty. The gospel is an invitation, the lepsog is a execution. The gospel speaks of freedom and overcoming, the lepsog is the great letdown of trouble and turbulence. the gospel usually makes us feel comforted, the lepsog makes us feel conflicted.

"In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I've overcome the world." - Jesus

There's bad news inside the good news. Hate doesn't go away. Suffering may intesify. Following Christ leads to a cross first, a rebirth second.

When I think of the reality of the "lepsog"...it has the sound of leprosy and soggy mixed together. It sounds 'not fun'. When I hear Jesus being sold the highest bidder, I hear sales' pitches that go something like this, "Give your life to Jesus and he will change your life." (true)...so long as you're open to interpretation as to what change could mean. He will certainly change your life for the better, but that's relative isn't it? In my experience, you've got some 'lepsog' heading your way, which is to say that something is going to hit the fan, and it's not going to be fresh air if you smell what I'm stepping in.

In fact, trouble becomes TROUBLE and sometimes even becomes TROUBLE. Jesus comes with salve and with salt. He comes with a basin and towel, as well as a chisel and trowel. He doesn't ask us to go any place he hasn't gone...but we tend to forget the places he went and get ticked off when he's asking us to go there in our lives, we're essentially rewriting the gospel into our own sappy selfish story...in my experience, what I've termed 'lepsog' (the backwards take of the gospel) is every bit as present as the the 'good news' side of it.

There is cancer and car accidents. There is divorce and deceit. There is pain and politics. There is rage and rejection. There is malice and mourning. There is sadness and sorrow. There is job-loss and jesting. There is tragedy and terror. There is fear and failure. There is disappointment and depression. There is loneliness and lostness. There is trouble. Lots of it.

But the gospel/lepsog is really one thing. Jesus never promised sweet relief marked with painless affluence. We overcome because we've been overcome. We don't get more stuff. We get more love. We dont' get less junk. We get less lies.

So today...I've been dwelling in the 'lepsog'. Sometimes it takes a spoonful of medicine to make the sugar go down. And I'm tired of sugar coating the gospel.


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