Heralds of the Good News

by Donald Hostetler, Major –

“Of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.” II Timothy 1:11

The word “herald” is not common in everyday English usage. We sing about “herald angels” at Christmas; some may have encountered “The Herald” as the name of a daily newspaper like the Boston Herald or Miami Herald. But the word seems reserved in contemporary use more for poetic form than common writing or conversation.

It was not always thus. The herald was an individual whose role was valued. The town crier was a herald; he was the source of news and information for village residents. A herald would announce the arrival of a visiting dignitary, so that all who wanted to greet their ruler would have word of his coming. Before mass communications media and before the masses were literate, the herald was the one who would announce or proclaim messages of importance.

The Heralds of the Good News session of cadets has arrived at the College for Officer Training at Crestmont. They certainly have a message of importance to announce. In a world that is lost, confused and dying, the “Heralds of the Good News” proclaim the message of Jesus Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Their session name is a reminder of the importance of their ministry role—to herald, to proclaim loudly, to announce vigorously the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This session of cadets will herald the Good News in English, Korean, Spanish and Chinese. These cadets mirror what is happening in the U.S. today—fewer than half the session are Americans of European heritage. Their diverse languages and backgrounds make them uniquely prepared to preach the gospel to the mission field that is taking residence all around us.

The Heralds of the Good News bring 16 children with them—infants to late teens. Inherent to the process of training is the building of relationships in community that model the Kingdom of God. Children of cadets are often a means of grace to the Crestmont community. And we believe that the healthy, holy relationships that are built at Crestmont are good news to a world too often filled with broken, sordid relationships.

Heralding the Good News, though, is not a role that should be peculiar to those who bear that session name. All Christians should be announcing the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ in word and deed. Such proclamation is at the heart of our Salvationist identity. Our proclamation may be in the open air meeting or in acts of service; it may be in large groups or one-on-one. No matter what form the proclamation takes, we are all called as Salvationists to “proclaim redemption’s wondrous plan.” (W.H. Clark)

As heralds of the Good News, we should be “town criers” in our neighborhoods and our communities that God’s love and redemption are available to all. As heralds of the Good News, we ought to tell about the coming King so that our loved ones can prepare for his coming. As heralds of the Good News, we have priceless truth of eternal significance to proclaim. The cadets of the Heralds of the Good News are ready to take this responsibility, but it is not theirs alone. May God make us all Heralds of the Good News.

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