Back in my youth (which feels pretty WAY back these days), Anne Murray sang a song with the memorable refrain: We sure could use a little good news today…
Among today’s bad news headlines — a conspiracy of silence that helped unleash a child predator for more than a decade… a deranged young man targeting moviegoers with deadly gunfire… doomsday economists predicting a fall off the “fiscal cliff”… totalitarian governments targeting their own citizens for repression or even genocide… We are saturated with news of tragedies and threats.
We sure could use a little more than a “little good news.”
And that’s where you and I come in. More to the point and the purpose of our lives, the world’s need is where Jesus Christ comes in. God INcarnate, Jesus Christ embodies God’s intimate sharing and caring for us in our difficulty and desperate times. He who died and rose FOR US is the Good News — God is not leaving us to chance or fate, but God actively and compassionately works to redeem us from the power of evil and sin.
It is tough, in the face of day to day bad news, trusting God’s goodness to prevail. And yet, our God, who shares our wounds and suffering in Christ, “desires to accomplish divine purposes in the world not through raw power but through building up the faithfulness of God’s own people” (Stacy Johnson). God’s response to evil and suffering enlists you and me.
The recent recruiting campaign of the United States Marines raises an important question: “Most people hear the sound of chaos and run the other way… which way will you run?” Disciples and apostles of Jesus Christ ask every day: “Where is Jesus leading me? Where is Jesus sending me?”
Through Jesus Christ, you and I turn toward and enter the world’s hurt, bearing Good News. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are given good words and works as our life’s calling. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we trust that a little good word or deed can bring God’s healing Spirit to bear on the world. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we shine the light of God’s promises into dark corners.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, “I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news” (Romans 15:20). Through faith in Jesus Christ, we strive to “lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
To trust in our Lord and Savior is not to deny, ignore, or minimize evil and its impact on the world. Rather, we believe that God calls us to actively oppose and point out evil. In Jesus Christ, we meet suffering with engaged compassion and love. Through him, we counter the torrent of bad news with a cascade of good news.
In Jesus Christ, God gives us a lot more than a little good news.