Read: Isaiah 61:1–11

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; He has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1

We live in a world that thrives on bad news. We publically bemoan the intense media focus on stories of death, destruction, and despair, but like rubbernecking on the highway when passing an accident scene, we find ourselves engrossed by it. For some reason, bad news can be more absorbing than the uplifting human interest stories we say we would like to see more of but never actually read or watch.

As Christians, as people of faith, as heirs to a tradition grounded in prophetic works like the book of Isaiah, we are called—anointed—to speak good news in a bad news world. Where some see death, we proclaim life. Where some witness despair, we speak hope. Where some fear destruction, we announce opportunities for rebuilding. There are certainly reasons for fear and uncertainty in our world, but we dare to believe in a good God whose design is for all creation to be saved and loved for all eternity. When we believe that the world was created in goodness and that the age to come will be filled with righteousness, how can we preach anything other than good news!

Does good news or bad news most readily capture your attention?

Lord, I confess that bad news can grab hold of me in ways that make it difficult to feel hopeful, let alone share optimistic words with others. Turning on the television, going online, or opening up the morning paper releases a flood of disturbing news that can make even the most cheerful of people blue and despondent. And yet, You encourage us to look past the headlines to look more deeply at the world You have created. Life is good, love is good, and so much of the created order is good. Even in the difficult moments of life, we know we are incredibly blessed. We have been told that when our life in this world is completed, our life will begin anew with You. That is great news—worth sharing with anyone who will listen. Lord, allow your Spirit to encourage me to share that news boldly and without hesitation. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.