We live in the world of the endless 24-hour news cycle, a cycle, which sadly leans toward bad news for the sake of ratings. We live in an era where accusations of fake news and partisan news abound, which sadly separates us into warring factions. And haven’t we all asked the question, “Is there any good news at all?”
It is in the midst of this climate that the people of God must come proclaiming,
“Do not be afraid, I bring you good news
that will cause great joy for all people,
today in the city of David
a Savior has been born to you,
he is the Messiah, the Lord”
The first time this news was broadcast it was better news than anyone had ever heard before. Because this good news of great joy broke into the world and announced that what had been, did not have to determine what would be, because there was a Savior who had shown up in the middle of real life, in a real town, in a real place.
This news was better than what had been delivered previously because it came not as a truth to assent to, but as a relationship to enter into. This good news of great joy was something that did not come as just word but instead arrived in the flesh, through a human life you could see and touch and walk alongside; this news took up real space and could be fact checked by anyone who had eyes to see and ears to hear.
And this better news about a God in the flesh was better than any previous religious proclamations because this news was delivered to all people and not just to particular factions. This news wasn’t just good news for some, and was not broadcast to amp up the ideology of a select few but this announcement arrived as better news for everyone.
This year University Ministries has chosen the theme #BetterNews because we believe our world is in dire need of a reminder that the gospel of Jesus Christ breaks into this world as good news of great joy for all people. We believe the #BetterNews declares to the world that real transformation is still possible and commissions us to also show up in the flesh in the midst of real life; to bring food for the hungry, to bring friendship to the lonely, to actually bring something that will cause great joy for all people. And we believe this #BetterNews commands us to move beyond our particular factions and offer news that is better for all people; to partner across long-held divides, to restore relationships that have been torn apart and to mend communities that injustice has left marginalized so that once again all people will truly mean all people.
The scriptures declare that the people of God have #BetterNews to offer this world than what is currently showing up on their news feeds. We believe this #BetterNews serves as a needed correction for the people of God, an exhortation that it is well past time that we show up in the world as proclaimers of news that is consistently good and that will cause great joy to everyone with whom we interact. Which means this year we invite you to recommit to becoming careful discerners of not only what you say, post and proclaim but of how you show up in the flesh in the story that God is writing. It is our hope that as we show up as #BetterNews that more of the world will come to know that whatever has been no longer determines what will be because we have a Savior who continues to show up in the middle of our lives as Christ the Lord.