Wednesday, August 24, 2011

no more bad news

I don’t know about you but I am tired of bad news. Every time you turn on the television there are stories of rebels, terrorists, sinking economies, rape, theft, murder, and even worse. Now these are important things to know. I want to know about Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and the all other events, both foreign and local, that affect us. I know the world is a troubling place, but it seems that catching up with the news is a health hazard. The chaos and moral rampage raises my stress levels to such a devastating level that I may soon become a news story.

The terrifying reality of it all is that bad news sells. If there are two news stations airing their daily events and one is talking about a local murder, while the other is talking about a local homeless shelter, the former will get higher ratings. This is true even in our own lives. When people ask us how we are doing we have one of two answers. We either answer we are doing fine, or we begin to monologue about how rude our boss was, or how inconsiderate our spouse is, or how are children do not appreciate anything, how our mother is relentlessly nagging us, and how Peyton manning may not be ready for the opener so the season is down the drain. Either we tell people we are fine, or we draw out in story the struggles of our lives.

I am not saying we do not share good events with each other; I am saying we are more likely to listen, to care, and to share the minor and major tragedies in our life. In fact we are incapable to share the good in our lives narratively as well as we can share the bad. The ugly dominates the tip of our personal, local, national, and international tongue.

I want to know the dangers and tragedies that are happening in the world, but I need to be encouraged that we are not completely lost. I want to hear stories of the few and faithful ensuring justice, maintaining sexual integrity, providing for the poor, and healing the sick. I want to hear about the stubborn saints sweating out good works in a broken world, I want to see the lowly leaders creating peaceful changes; I want to hear of the Holy Spirit catching this city on fire! I want to hear of forgiveness, mercy and the Good News!

I suppose this begins with us. I want to share that our food pantry has fed over 70 families so far this month. I want to let you know that our community center has provided clothes and bread every day this week. I want to let you know that our preschool is working with families and kids through education, prayer, and any other assistance they may need. I want you to know that our after school program continues to tutor and encourage kids at the local middle school. I want you to know that this week we have prayed for and visited the sick. We have laid hands on each other and seen healings and miracles. Next week we have someone committing their life to Jesus Christ through baptism. We have groups such as AA using our building to find healing, Weight Watchers to establish healthy eating, CICOA to provide meals to those who are shut in, Bible Studies to help nurture the soul, and Restoring Lives West to find shelter and second chances. Finally, and most importantly, we have worship to give thanks to a truly good and wonderful God every Sunday morning at 10:15 am.

This is the good news we need to hear from each other, so now it is your turn. This may not be life shattering news, but I like to think it is dent making news. I like to think we have made a dent, and together we can continue reforming this world one dent at a time!

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