Good news in a bad news world

In my first career as a newspaper reporter, one of the common suggestions I received in my daily travels from readers was to “print more good news!” in the paper. My response was usually to say something along the lines of “do something positive we can report on and give me a call.”

It’s true there’s no shortage of bad news in the newspapers that show up on our doorsteps and on our smartphones and computer screens. But our personal lives are no different. Just this past week I learned of the death of a high school girlfriend’s husband on Facebook and a day later took an early morning phone call informing me that the wife of my dad’s closest friend had died.

If there’s one constant in life other than death and taxes, it’s that bad things happen. Why? Well, it’s the nature of living in a fallen world, a world where sin and wickedness are prevalent.

Before you think I’m playing the part of Debbie downer though, hear me out.

This world – the one with all the heartache, sickness, perversion and violence; the one with daily “blood and guts” headlines – is not our home. As followers of Christ, our hope is not in the here today, gone tomorrow. Our hope is in what Eugene Peterson describes in his The Message translation of the Bible as “the new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.”

The message of hope we celebrate every Christmas – the one that should have more of our attention than we often allow it this time of year – is that this isn’t all there is. We aren’t born, left to try and carve out the best life we can, die and go back to the earth. Jesus is coming back as He promised and His kingdom, the one we who follow Christ are called to build (not to earn our way to heaven but as a response to the Holy Spirit’s call on our life), will be completed and will once and for all make everything right.

That, my friends, is good news we don’t have to make happen. It’s already happened in Christ.

Today’s Readings – Psalm 16, 17, 22, Amos 5:1-17, Jude 1-16, Matt 22:1-14

Matt Ralph is the editor of the Delanco Camp Blog. He lives in Lancaster, Pa., and works as a communications coordinator for a church.

The Delanco Camp Blog has moved. Go to delanco.org/dc-blog for new posts.

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