I read about it in the paper. I hear about it on the radio. I pick up the phone and it's there too. The news is everywhere and most often it is bleak and heart-breaking. Souls fighting. Souls taking the life of another soul. Souls ravaged by abuse. Souls drowning in a sea of alcoholism. Souls dying. Souls full of cancer. Souls starving because of drought and famine. Souls that are homeless. Souls robbed of hope. Souls in prisons of their own making. All this strife and pain resounds in a sad refrain in the news. I could put names onto these souls, so could you. Sometimes the weight of the news seems too much. Where is hope? Where is love? Where is kindness? Where is light? Darkness, despair, greed, bitterness, lust and sorrow tug at the hope that's inside of me and threaten to pull me under in the dark undertow.
I read this other book. I try to read it often because it tells me that there truly is Good News. It comforts me. It tells me that there is hope. It shows me purpose in the middle of the darkest night. It buoys the hope that is inside me. It cradles my fragile thoughts and emotions and reminds me that this place is not as it should be. I sometimes ask myself what difference does my life make in the middle of the bad news all around me. How can I change it? What can I do? Is it possible for this world to be fixed?
Jesus quotes in Luke 4:16-22 these words from Isaiah 61 that infuse me with hope and light. "The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God has anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace - a celebration of God's destruction of our enemies - and to comfort all who mourn...." Jesus says he has good news. I believe that He is Good News. The enemies that he is talking about are everything that we hear in the news. It's murder. It's greed. It's homelessness. It's starvation. It's abuse. It's terminal illness. He has conquered those enemies. He has put in motion a plan that has given hope and light to the darkest of days; the worst news.
Jesus asks that anyone who has ears to hear the Good News, to spread it all around. He says to his followers in Matthew 5:14 that, 'You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world." If the Good News is in me, I have light to offer the world around me. Have you ever been in a room at dusk? As the light fades in the room, colors fade. The only colors that you end up seeing are the non-colors; black and grey. If you turn a light on in that same room, colors explode like a rainbow. Red, green, blue, yellow, orange all bringing the scene to life. That's what LIGHT does. That's what I do. I bring out the God-colors in this world. In the face of bad news, I have love. I have compassion. I have justice. I have grace and mercy. I have forgiveness. I have hope and joy. I have peace. I have hope. There is Good News for anyone with the ears to hear it...Jesus.