Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's good news!

Imagine with me, if you will, that you're a rookie news reporter and tonight is your first (and probably only) shot at anchoring the evening news. Normally you'd be thrilled at the opportunity but there's just one problem: all the news is bad.

I mean, really bad.

War looms on multiple fronts as both your neighboring countries aim all their military firepower at your tiny nation. Many (including some of your own family) sit behind enemy lines as prisoners of war. The lives that aren't risked in battle are equally in jeopardy as a mysterious virus sweeps the country taking more lives every day. National debt is soaring along with the personal debt of everyone you know (yourself included). Loans are defaulting and banks are now resorting to old-school tactics and sending thugs to "collect". And the only hope—the one man looked to by the nation to lead them out of this crisis—has suddenly and unexpectedly died. 

As you make a last minute review of your notes, however, the studio doors burst open.

"It's over!" the intruder shouts. "The war is over!" He excitedly explains how one of your neighboring countries called for peace, then turned their guns on your nation's other adversary, sending them into a full retreat and freeing the POWs in the process. But before he could even finish, the door flies wide again.

"They found a cure! A cure to that epidemic that's been killing everybody!"

"And ALL the debts are getting paid off!" shouted two more people in close succession. "The national debt has been paid and in response the banks are making a one-time pardon on all credit card debt!"

Once more the studio doors slam against the wall as they're thrown open.

"You'll never believe this, but he's alive!" the last intruder shouts. "The details are fuzzy, but..."

"We go live in TEN SECONDS, everyone!" your producer shouts.

As you clear your throat and prepare for the signal of the camera man—barely keeping a ridiculous grin from spreading across your face—your co-host leans over and whispers:

"Share the good news. Use words if necessary."

Ridiculous, right? Peace with one enemy. Victory over the other. Prisoners set free. The sick are healed. Debts are paid. Your savior is alive. And you're asked to restrain your tongue? Nobody would say something like that.

And yet...

We hear it all the time. "Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary." I suppose I understand the sentiment behind it. The news should be so transforming, so life-changing, that our very lives and conduct reflect the effects of the good news without a word being spoken. But the thing that is transforming and life-changing is the good news, not our good lives. Good news must be shared, proclaimed.

As Paul said in Romans:
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (10:14)
 With Easter less than a week away, who are you sharing the good news with?

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