Reacting to NewsI am writing this musing on the day when we very sadly hear that the number of lives lost to COVID in the UK has risen to over 100k and the present lockdown will continue and schools will not return until at least 8th March. It is also the day we remember all the lives lost in the Holocaust and see how it’s horrendous impact continues so many years on. It is hard not to be affected by such news and I guess we all react in many different ways. We can’t and shouldn’t avoid bad news, it is part of life and indeed needs a compassionate and prayerful response from us. That said, bad news has the potential to overwhelm us and can change our outlook on life and can create a deepening spiral of darkness. BUT, in Christ we have something to combat and indeed to change the direction of that spiral!
This week I have been attending a course each day on Mark’s Gospel which starts with the proclamation by Mark in 1.1 ‘This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God’. We heard on the course how this greeting was exactly the same one used by the Romans at the time to announce the emperor, so from the very beginning of the Gospel, Mark is telling us how Jesus is coming to challenge and to change the kingdom from one looking to Rome[human created kingdoms] to one looking to the Kingdom of God. Many saw Jesus as the Good News even though they didn’t fully understand the implications and perhaps that is still true today not just of people outside the Church but of ourselves inside. But what we do know is in the midst of a world bombarded by bad news, that Jesus is still The Good News and it is in that belief and experience which we live as Christians and indeed face the challenges of our human life. Indeed, it is in the very heart of the Gospel story that we hear Jesus tell us that he will always be with us, even to the end of time and it is in that knowledge that we know we never face anything alone.
The words of Lamentations 22 speak to this bad news v Good News;
19. The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall!
20 My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
And we are reminded of this every single morning as the sun rises even if we don’t physically see it rise, God is with us in Christ and we look to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead us through this time in hope of the present and of things to come.
Let us be God’s people joined together in fellowship as we journey on.
Your friend and servant