What is the Kerygma?
‘Kerygma’ comes from the Greek words for herald and also the message he announced. In the New Testament it is used for the core content of the Gospel. As such, the Kerygma is, and announces or proclaims, the Good News or Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation he has won and offers us. Its proclamation also invites a response to it.
What is the message of the Kerygma?
Here is a tweet length version:
“In Jesus, God revealed himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reconciled us to himself, and invites us to share divine life in the Church.”
Put more briefly:
“God became human so that humans could receive divine life.”
It can helpfully be articulated in four parts within the presentation of the history of salvation (how God rescues and blesses us), reaching back to creation and looking forward to the coming of Jesus in glory with the full blessings of salvation.
- The world does in fact have a creator (= God) who has a plan to make a just world in which people are happy – if they choose to go along with the plan.
- At the beginning of history humans rejected God’s plan and brought much misery upon themselves. But God still intended to fulfil his plan, giving promises and prophecies about it to the Jews who he chose as its initial recipients (as it turned out) on behalf of all humanity.
- God became human in Jesus and through him will fulfil all his plans. While on earth 2000 years ago, he revealed the truth about God, humanity and salvation, supported by miracles, and then died and rose to establish a new people (the Church) who, reconciled to God by the sacrifice of Jesus, could receive the Holy Spirit and the graces of salvation.
- Through God’s intervention in Jesus, it is possible for us to receive some of God’s blessings now, and to be ready to receive the remaining blessings when Jesus returns in public glory at the end of history as we currently know it to put all things right. We participate in the blessings of Christ now by personal and ongoing belief in him as God, trust in him as our saviour and commitment to his as our Lord, living lives of faith, hope and love, and participating in the life and mission of the Church.
A Short Prayer to Jesus of Faith, Conversion and Commitment
Here is a prayer that you can say to express initial or renewed faith in Jesus, conversion to him and commitment to be his disciple and share in his work. It expresses a good response to the Gospel or Kerygma of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, true God and man,
I come before you just as I am.
Thank you for loving me, & dying and rising from the dead
to rescue and save me from evil
and give me new divine life.
I am sorry for my sins.
I repent of them.
Please forgive me.
Jesus, I give myself to you.
I accept you as my Lord, God, and Saviour;
as the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Come into my heart, I ask, and make your home here.
Give me the grace to know and pray to God as my Father.
Change me, heal me, strengthen me by the power of your Holy Spirit.
I pledge myself to follow you for the rest of my life,
to seek out your grace in the Church you founded
and to share in its mission.
By your grace, sustain & guide me always,
Help me persevere unto death,
and so be welcomed by you into eternal happiness,
© Andrew Brookes OP