kerygma - the message
Kerygma, one of five marks of the church, is at the heart of the church’s life. Kerygma means “proclaiming”, “announcing”, “preaching”. A congregation lacking kerygma is a community without the extraordinary news – “The Message” – that is the church’s reason for being. The kerygma is not simply a neighbourly commitment to generic values of hope, faith and love or to peace and justice. The gospel is not the best of humankind’s attempts to reach out to God. It is, instead, the incredible announcement that, in Jesus Christ, God has broken into history to save and redeem the Creation. The good news is a cruciform story of God’s capacity to bear the world’s suffering and to overcome the powers of death. A kerygmatic congregation is learning that the glory of the God it meets in Jesus Christ is, paradoxically, revealed in weakness. To paraphrase Paul, believers long for proof that God is real (signs) while unbelievers expect a reasonable contemporary spirituality (wisdom) but the church announces Christ murdered (crucified), a scandal to believers and idiocy to unbelievers (I Corinthians 1:22-23). The church that God grows springs from the seed of the cross and resurrection. Where this message takes root and comes to flower one finds a people undeterred by hardship, unsurprised by tragic loss, unprepared to give up on the least and the last because it is coming to trust in the power of God to make new.