Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Revive Us Again"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 16:15 – And then [Jesus] told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone." (NLT)
Like me, you might be somewhat disappointed with recent television offerings, filled with unwholesome deprivation, gratuitous violence, and calls for revenge. So, I was recently encouraged by an eight-episode Internet show called SGN (Some Good News), brilliantly created, directed, and hosted by John Krasinski (The Office). Krasinski holds an infectious smile that wipes away troubles and sadness. Heartwarming stories of good news during the pandemic abound: homecoming parades, new family members, health care worker celebrations, and my favourite, a baby's unbridled laughter at the commonplace. The show has raised millions of dollars for COVID-19-related charities.
This is heartwarming good news amidst the stream of bad news, giving hope and encouragement. It's impossible to watch it without a few tears of joy.
So, too, was Jesus' declaration of the Good News of God's redemptive love. During a particularly oppressive time for the Jewish people, Jesus offered new hope, particularly to those suffering injustice, discrimination, and marginalization, with teaching about God's limitless grace for all people everywhere, and stories of God's call to be a kinder, gentler, and more compassionate people. It was just what Jesus' immediate followers and His subsequently three billion followers needed to hear, and still need to hear.
Luke 4:43 – But [Jesus] replied, "I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent." (NLT)
Our calling, as followers of Jesus, is to continue to spread this Good News in a world that, despite its trials, is an amazing world filled with opportunities for meaning, delight, and fulfilment, perhaps especially in these trying times. Instead of focusing on the bad news, as others may tend towards in times such as we are living, Jesus' followers need to search continually for the Good News that Jesus offers to each one of us daily, not so much for our own sakes as for the encouragement of others and for the building of God's kingdom.
Prayer: Lord, even in these trying times, may we recognize that the light of Your presence and love override any of our difficulties and limitations. May each of us go out into the world, not with thoughts of trauma and shortcomings, but with a renewed appreciation for all that is still good. In spreading the good news, may we experience life in all its goodness and fullness, as You intended for us. Amen.