Could you use some good news? - Awana International Canada

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Good News in the Time of Coronavirus

All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades…but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:6b-7a, 8b)

Could you use some good news? 

Our days overflow with bad news, don’t they? Unless you silence your phone, turn off the television, and log out of the internet (and probably stop talking to everyone) we are barraged with bad news from the moment we wake up until we go back to bed. Top of the list these days is a frightening global pandemic nipping at our heels, a tanking economy, and a polarized political system. These troubles—and so many more—are real and personal. They impact our days, our lives, our relationships. 

The truth is, life is full of pain. As Westley tells Buttercup in The Princess Bride “Life is pain…anyone who tells you differently is selling something.” 

But there is also good news. The word “gospel” literally means “good news.” And we, as Christians, are the people of good news. We get to carry—and shout—this news everywhere we go. 

Our mission isn’t to paper over real pain with happy sounding slogans, or demand that people conform to our upbeat thinking; it certainly isn’t to frighten them with bad news. No, when God brought Jesus back from the dead and placed Him as King over all creation, tearing down walls and boundaries and making us one in Christ, something changed forever, tangibly, right here on the ground in the lives of real people. Remember Jesus’ disciples? Throughout the gospels they were so confused, afraid, driven by their own egos and blind to the kingdom. But after the resurrection everything was different. Their fears were replaced with love and courage. Their suffering did not abate—in fact, it increased! But their joy began to abound. They declared: 

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us...

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:18, 31-32, 35, 37-39)

Why is our news good? Because from the opening pages of Genesis we see a world that we recognize all too well—full of pain, suffering, and evil—but hear the word of the Lord declared over the pain: all creation was formed by a loving and invested God who will not rest until His creation has been brought back to shalom, to wholeness. Adam and Eve broke the intimacy and trust God intended, but He was not deterred. Again and again humankind went in the wrong direction, but the good news never wavered. All along, God has been faithful even when we were not. In Jesus, we see the first fruits of God’s long-term plan come to fulfillment. And in the Holy Spirit we are brought alongside Him to bring God’s Kingdom here.  

God is determined to persist until His entire creation has been brought back, under Christ, into fullness, into wholeness, into intimacy with Him. 

Today’s news is truly devastating; our suffering is real, the damages and losses are harsh. Furthermore, there has not been one day since time began when this was not true. But something else has also been true from the beginning: God’s faithfulness, Gods presence, God’s redemption. 

Good news is always relevant, always important, and here it is: God is present, active in our world, bringing all things back to Himself. And we, you and I and Christians around the globe, are sent out to spread this good news to every person and created thing. We are the good-news people, chosen us to bless this entire anxious, fear-filled world with the freedom and joy that comes from God’s Kingdom. 

We are grass that withers and fades, so quickly. But the word of God will stand forever. 

News doesn’t get much better than that. 

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