Friday, October 21, 2011

The Really, Really Good News

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." -Matthew 24:14

"And the gospel must first be published among all nations." -Mark 13:10

My routine each morning after I wake up is to (groggily) make some coffee, prepare a quick breakfast for my family, quickly bag some lunch for the three of us and then straighten out the kitchen a little before I prepare to leave for work. Usually, I have some spare time so I sit on the couch, sip my coffee in front of the TV and watch some morning news. Bad idea. That's always a bad idea. The last thing I want to do is to bombard my thoughts with a series of bad news coming in from all over the world first thing in the morning. But somehow, someway I always end up turning on that television and then torture myself with doses of depressing stories. And to think that that's only 10 to 15 minutes of my day. How much more if I watch TV all day long? I would be a total wreck!

As you'd probably know already (since I've mentioned it in my previous posts), I used to be a news reporter. Somehow I don't remember feeling so sad or too depressed about the stories we used to gather everyday. It was just normal work with some unusual stories sometimes but nothing too horrible that would make me feel gloomy for the rest of the day. I was happy with my job and it was one of my best experiences. But now it seems like the whole world has run amok! All I hear and see on TV are mostly bad news. Maybe I'm just getting too old for all these negative stuff.

I also think that maybe the digital age has a lot to do to contribute to the reason why it feels like there is just too much bad news everywhere and all the time. The world has really gone smaller. In split seconds, we get to know what's happening on the other side of the world at the same time we learn what's happening in our own neighborhood. In a flash, we can "bombard" ourselves with international breaking news while looking at what's happening at our own backyard. With a click, we get news and information within minutes which our great-grandparents normally would have gotten in days, weeks or even months.

It is so scary for me on how we get to see so much of the bad stuff but we never get to know the victories and the triumphs in people's lives. Surely there must be more than just bad news out there? Surely there must be some funny, heart-warming, great stories somewhere? Why do the news media particularly gobble up on the bad news mostly? Are we, the audience, really that addicted to such depressing and sad news? It seems like good news can never be in the headlines anymore these days.

Whenever I tell people that we don't have cable television in our home, the usual reaction I get is a combination of shock, surprise and disbelief. And I do understand the reaction. Cable is being portrayed and marketed as one of the basic necessity of human life. If you watch the cable companies' commercials, it seems like they are almost threatening people that if we don't get cable we are missing out on all the best things in life! What! No cable? You don't have sports channel every Sunday then! What! No cable? You don't know what's happening with all the reality shows of "real" people! What! No cable? You're so out of touch! Yup maybe so, but no thanks. For almost 7 years now with no cable, our family has survived. We are fine. I thank God we don't miss anything that we haven't seen in the first place. So I'm only guessing when I say that there are probably tons of bad news on cable television as well?

Please don't misunderstand me. I am not propagating the idea of the total eradication of bad news from TV, radio, newspaper or the internet. Not at all. I believe that a balanced news reporting calls for the inclusion of all the bad, the shocking, the horrible and all the real, unpleasant news out there. All I'm saying is and asking for is the "balanced" part. We do need some good, happy, uplifting, funny news as well, don't we? People are already down in the dumps with all the evil and wickedness going on around the world, the economy of almost every nation is at a whack, most families are losing their jobs and their homes, and there are just too many deaths and sicknesses going around, do you think we really need more bad news especially early in the morning?

"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." -Matthew 4:23 

"The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the GOSPEL preached to them." -Matthew 11:5 

"For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." -Romans 1:16

These Bible verses provide only a glimpse of what I call the real and true good news! And that's why it is called the Gospel of Jesus Christ because gospel literally means good news. I thank God for being the bearer of such great news for His people. His love is available to all those who need it at anytime. I thank Him for giving the best news of His salvation and His perfect will for man. There is no other joy that can fill our hearts except the one that can only come from Him and with His hope that makes us look beyond what we see at present. Once we experience the peace of the Holy Spirit that surpasses all understanding, all other substitutes cannot even compare. And praise to the Lord Jesus Christ for His perfect love which is beyond knowledge. And, as if there's even something more that can top all that, yet God truly desires to have a close, meaningdful relationship with me. With "bad news" me! That is what I call good news. No, make it the perfect genuine great news of all time.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -John 3:16

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mara; yes, the gospel is always good news in a world where, it seems everywhere, we are bombarded with bad news. We can't cut ourselves off from all bad news, but sometimes I think we need to put things in perspective and realise that there is good news as well! Certainly, the gospel is the best of news in a fallen world; God's Word stands, regardless of what happens in the world, whether good or bad. Thanks for that lovely piece Mara!


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