A friend shared something kind of interesting yesterday morning: Researchers asked a sampling of people what three words they most wanted to hear. The most common response was, “I love you.” The second most common response was, “I forgive you.” The third, “Dinner is ready.”
Those 3 phrases sum up the gospel:
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…”
Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
John 21:12: “Come and have breakfast.”
Later in the day my daughter and I were discussing her aversion to the word doctrine. Aware that there is nothing wrong with doctrine per se – it’s just a set of beliefs – she supposed the thing that makes it aversive is the way we Christians bog down our beliefs.
She told me what her friend’s professor said about doctrine: “I used to try to carry all the church’s doctrine the way you would carry all your grocery bags into the house at the same time. But I kept dropping some. Now I carry very few bags. Like three.”
Three is enough.
Bag 1: God loves us.
Inside the bag: He stepped into our mess of a world to show us what He’s really like.
He’s actively redeeming and restoring His creation.
Bag 2: God forgives us.
Inside the bag: The cross and three words: “It is finished.”
Bag 3: God has prepared a place for us.
Inside the bag: Our daily bread and an invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
I love that Jesus prepared breakfast for His friends after He was resurrected. You’d think after such a glorious feat He’d do something a little more regal.
He made them breakfast.
I’ve been teaching the Bible these last two years via an international Bible study. Next year they’ll be studying the book of Romans. And I’m not going to teach. I don’t want to bog kids down with a heavy load of doctrine. I just want to carry three light bags.
Dinner is ready.