Everyday Encounter with God

Pastor Sylvia's Encounters with God in the Midst of Everyday Life


Good News or Bad News

We are constantly inundated with bad news. It appears on our cell phones in time to interrupt each morning’s coffee, and on the radio during our daily commutes. It materializes in our email inbox. It stares at us from grocery store magazine covers, and plays in the background while we fix dinner.  

Sometimes it seems like all the news is bad news, doesn’t it? People have a voyeuristic fascination with the morbid, whether it’s crime, natural disasters, or the moral failings of our heroes.

A serious examination of these tragedies is not possible in the time our media devotes to each story. The average length of a network TV news package is 2 minutes and 23 seconds. We can’t form an educated opinion on the subject. There aren’t enough details. We’re fed just enough information to grab our attention and ruin our moments—if the news is even true.  It could be “fake news,” reported solely to upset us. Most news is designed to trigger a negative emotional response in under three minutes. And they do.  

Add it to our personal bad news: not enough money for the holidays, health declining, must move by the end of the month, marriage in trouble, kids out of control. There seems to be no way to escape the barrage of negativity.

There we are, overwhelmed just when we should be feeling some kind of joy because Christmas is coming. We’re supposed to be happy in December.

This week I want to declare some good news. You need to know there is hope. There are still God-ordained possibilities that will bless you and restore your joy. Good choices are still available. Peace and prosperity are still planned for you.

I want to remind you that God adores you. In spite of your frantic running around, so busy that you lose touch with Him, He never loses touch with you. Despite your inadequacies and failings, God’s affection is real. He doesn’t hover to catch you doing something wrong; He watches to help you get it right.

You deserve some good news today. The birth of the Christ Child is that Good News.

God pulled off His greatest miracle since the creation of the world. He spent centuries setting His plan in motion. The Romans had to build the roads. The Greeks established a postal system. The Egyptians perfected a way to write on plant fibers so that ideas could be shared between people who never met one another. The Roman occupation was permitted to fulfill the prophesies of Isaiah, Daniel, David, Zephaniah, and others.

No detail was overlooked. God deliberately selected each person for their role. And while He was doing all that, He never took His eyes off you.

When He placed the new star in the sky, He watched you struggle financially. When He told the Persian kings to mount their camels, He heard the hurtful words your spouse said to you this morning. At the same time He dispatched angels to reassure Mary that although she was unmarried and pregnant, it would turn out okay, He also dispatched angels to protect you from unseen harm.

Can’t hear Him? I’d like to make a suggestion. For the rest of this month, ignore the bad news. Turn off the radio. Mute the TV. Read good stuff in this paper. All that’s wrong with the world will still be there in January.

Let God gather you in His arms and prepare your heart. The Christ Child is coming. Nothing else really matters. Ignore everything that’s wrong in the world. Listen instead for the Good News.