Sunday, April 12, 2015

The only news worth telling

Good news. Good news. I know there’s good news in the universe, because I see it all around me every day. I don’t have to look far. I can just look outside my window. I can just go out of my front door. I live in a country that has never known war, at least not from the outside, and not on our soil for six generations. As a very young child, I knew very old people who were children during the Civil War. The edges of our land have been nibbled and nicked by enemies, but not the great and boundless middle.

Over ten years ago I stopped watching the television news. Actually, I stopped watching television altogether. The first I stopped watching because it was rewriting my imagination with daily horrors. The second I stopped watching because I realized that my life on earth was not bestowed for entertainments. I grieved for having wasted too many hours watching to dull my senses to the flow of time. I have tried to find entertainment in the things set before me to do, by others or by myself. Yet even there, I waste.

That’s human weakness, of course. Thank God for human weakness and for sleep. Thank God also for sickness, for it forces us to slow down, even to listen instead of just hear. Good news can even consist in that—making us pause, so that we can see the world around us, and even ourselves, as God made both, calling all that comes from His hand ‘good.’ What is news about this, is that this goodness was never just a ‘once and for all’ creation or event. What is, is good, even when God has finished it, no, especially.

For once the Creator hung, unknown to His creatures, stuck on a scaffold like a wild boar pierced and held in a trap, shamed and mocked by passers-by, and before the eyes of all and with bound hands recreated the very universe, redeeming it from sin without its knowing, and with the words, ‘It is finished,’ mysteriously with His last breath breathed into mortal clay the life eternal. That time, He left it to those He saved to declare it ‘good,’ that sixth-day labor after which He rested the seventh in a tomb.

Yet even resting, He worked, clearing the threshing-floor of Hades of its wheat and chaff, certainly worth revealing to the world as ‘news,’ something that has never happened before, nor shall it ever happen again, still not, however, a ‘once and for all’ event, because from beyond time it pours itself continually into time, He taking captives in all directions, from the past, the present, and the future, and presenting them to the Father. This is the good news that I see everywhere I look. This is the only news worth telling.

For the world, oblivious to all the good with which it is surrounded and filled, runs after evil—no, not just ‘bad’ but evil, the news it spreads in writing or ‘live’ reporting—so there can be no surprise that it ignores the only news worth telling, that Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life. That news is the good news. That is the message of life to a world worshiping death. All good stories flow into it, and out of it. Yes, that is the only news worth telling.

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