1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (NRSV)
Chapter 15Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, Verse 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you-unless you have come to believe in vain. Verse 3For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, Verse 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, Verse 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Verse 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Verse 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Verse 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. Verse 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. Verse 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them-though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Verse 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
After Jesus' earthly ministry ended, the good news of his death and resurrection had to be shared by word of mouth. The apostle Paul became instrumental in this effort with the early church. But now Paul is long gone. The early disciples are gone too. However, the joy of sharing this good news with others continues today. Who has proclaimed this gospel to you? How do you pass on these stories of faith? Paul writes, "Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe."
Did you catch that? The duty of proclaiming the good news is one we share. And this itself is good news! For it means that together we give witness to the gospel—all our differing experiences and understandings share a message of God's love that is more inclusive, more beautiful, more complete than any we could make known on our own.
Gracious God, we give you thanks for those who have proclaimed your good news to us. Draw us to one another so that together we can come to believe it—that the message of Christ's love made known to the first disciples still stands for us today. Amen.