Often, good news is something like you got the job, won the lottery, get a day off from work with pay, car repairs cost less than you thought and so on. So I suppose it follows that the Good News of Jesus Christ, and especially to the poor, would be things get better. Maybe the poor get a good job! If we cut taxes to rich corporations they will create jobs and that will be good news to the poor! Hallelujah! We are doing God’s will, the supreme benefactor. Or if we set up a food bank or have a rally protesting the reality of poverty people will suddenly “get it” and things will change and that will be good news for the poor. Hallelujah! We are doing the will of God the master activist. Or something like if we get the Church back together in communion with the See of Saint Peter or drop the Filioque or cure all the gay people or liberate and accept all gay people or forbid abortion or allow access to family planning all these things will be bringing the “Good News”.
I have no doubt that many people are totally sincere in their efforts to bring good news to people throughout the world. I just wonder if it is time to have another look at what the Good News of Jesus Christ is. I think we as the divided Church need to go to the Bible, and use the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed to meditate on them. To me, the Creeds are a lens that focuses our vision and sharpens our thoughts after reading the Bible. We can think about the words in our day to day lives. Someone gives us the finger while driving, remember the Creeds; someone really praises us up for a job well done, before we get too high on that remember the Creeds; we find out a loved one is seriously ill, remember the Creeds and so on.
In these days of secularization and cynicism it’s hard to believe that there can be any good news. It’s hard for me, anyways. It’s easy to think “If Jesus came to sort everything out, why are things still so screwed up?” I deeply feel that the Good News of Jesus Christ is there. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I will get a good job or that my family will never get sick or that my son’s beloved lost cat will come home. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all the world’s ills will be solved. I guess I wish it did. Good things do happen, and we should give thanks for them, but when they don’t happen it doesn’t mean that God isn’t with us. I feel that it means that at some point, we will see Jesus, cooking breakfast for us on the shore. Maybe then, after all our big plans and dreams have backfired and gone down in flames, after we have suffered pain and loss and live with sorrow daily, perhaps then we can recognize that God has been waiting to welcome us all this time.