Bad News Good News

The sick vicar was encouraged by good news; the Women’s Guild decided to send him a gift and a get well card. Then he heard the bad news: the vote was 31-30.

It seemed yesterday there was only bad news. There was the covid news about infection rates, deaths, unemployment, the economy, recession…

There was international news of hatred, war and death; there were local stories of sickness, suicide, loneliness…

Some are despairing, think that the world is heading towards self-destruction…

I remembered two songs from 1965:

‘It’s Good News Week’, by the wonderfully named ‘Hedgehoppers Anonymous’:

It’s good news week
Someone’s dropped a bomb somewhere
Contaminating atmosphere
And blackening the sky…

The Barry Maguire song ‘Eve of Destruction’:

The eastern world it tis explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’…
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

We believed then that we were on the edge of nuclear war and world destruction…

I remember Craig the ice cream man who has converted a bus into a mobile grocery shop ‘to help isolated residents in smaller communities’; the despairing mother whose son is finally knuckling down to work at school; the lonely young man who has found a loving relationship; the friend, isolated in his room, but constantly cheerful…

I’m more determined to move from bad news to good news – not as the second half of a poor joke but as a consistent lifestyle. I remember that ‘gospel’ means, and is, ‘good news’. Musing on Paul’s description of love in 1Corithians 13:

  • Practical: Love is active, demonstrated in daily living
  • Patient and persevering: It doesn’t always come easily
  • Partial: What we see in our broken world is a poor reflection of love
  • Perfection: The gospel is of perfect love ‘that casts out fear’.
  • Priority: Faith and hope are good news. The best news is love.

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