I’ve always hated having the phrase KISS tossed at me. Have you heard this acronym before? Meaning “Keep It Simple . . . “—we’ll go with sweetheart here, since I doubt Jesus would throw around stupid. I am not, by nature, a simple person. I feel big feels. I overthink things and use a lot of words to get a point across. I run myself in circles considering options, weighing what others might think, trying to discern God’s good and holy will for me.
I think I do this sometimes with the Good News, too. I make what it means to profess Jesus and follow Him, what it means to be a Christian, a complicated endeavor — way more complicated than it needs to be, or so it would seem, from today’s readings. First, Saint Paul, sitting in a jail cell in chains, distills the Gospel he is willing to give his life for into four short phrases which essentially say, 1) You have gained life in Christ, 2) persevere in it, 3) stay faithful, and 4) get to Heaven. (2 Timothy 2:11-13) And then Jesus, responding to the questioning scribe, gives us two essential instructions on what it means to follow God: love Him and love others. (Mark 12:30-31)
Both seem to be reminding us to KISS the Good News; when we start to wrap the essentials of the Gospels in too many layers of shiny paper, seal it up with too much tape, or hand it over with a big, distracting bow on the top, we miss the opportunity to simply come forth with the seed of faith in our hands and trust that love will water it to full bloom.
Far too often I trap the Gospel in semantics and petty arguments and selfish judgements. I chain the Word of God inside my heart by binding it in something other than love. Perhaps this is the one time in my life that makes it clear that I need to reevaluate my disdain for KISS-ing things, and listen intently to the voice of a Savior who makes life simple for me so I can simply follow Him into eternity.
Have you spent time with Scripture lately? Open our Catholic journaling Bible. Find your old one from high school. Read it online. Listen to the Word of God.
Colleen Mitchell is a wife, bringer upper of boys, Gospel adventurer, wanna-be saint, author and speaker. She is the author of the award-winning Who Does He Say You Are: Women Transformed by Christ in the Gospels, and the soon to be released When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be. Her latest adventure has taken her from the jungle of Costa Rica where she and her family have served as missionaries for the last six years, to the wilds of a sixth grade classroom in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she is still living her mission to give everyone she meets just a little Jesus. You can find out more about her here.