Tuesday, December 30, 2014

News, News

   Epworth was blessed to receive the Good News on the first Sunday of the Christmas season from the Rev. Ben Gosden, one of our own. I spoke with Ben the night before and he shared the outline of his message with me then: it sounded so good. Our family was blessed to worship at the church in Fayetteville. The same church I worked and we attended when I started seminary, where Julie and I lived after we were married, and where Sam was born. We saw friends from over a decade ago and also heard a message crafted out of the Scriptures for this Season.
   One of the songs we sang in Fayetteville repeated a refrain that can be seen on every television, handheld smart phone or tablet, and even in the folded pages of ink-laden newspaper pages. The song was “Good Christian Men Rejoice” and the line went, “give ye heed to what we say: News, news! Jesus Christ is born today!” It seemed so very relevant, since everywhere we turn around someone is proclaiming that they have the latest news.
   The front page of the Ledger-Enquirer for the past few days featured the top news stories of the past year from a host of topics: crime, courts, government, education, politics, business, baseball, hospitals, babies, and more. All week long, cable news networks and morning talk shows are also featuring the top news stories from the previous year. There is value in looking back and remembering. What stories from the news do you recall? What are you holding onto as the new year begins?
   Is all news the same? No. We know better. Just the other day, my mechanic called to say, “I have good news and I have...” Don’t laugh. That second set of news cost me a lot of money!
   Christians talk a lot about Good News. The Greek word that is translated to English as Good News in the New Testament is ԑúаүүέλıоv (euangélion) and it is gospel. We use this same word to describe the collections of stories about the life of Jesus. Put one way, every time the church leans in to hear the stories of Jesus, we are tuning into the good news.
   I am resolved to begin the year right. I want to work even harder to pay attention to the news that changed my present and influences my future. I want to give more attention to the voices that offer the best wisdom for my life. I invite you to join me in worship to do the very same thing. 
   Grace and Peace to you, Scott

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