Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Still Good News!

Good news travels fast. We have probably all experienced that a time or two.  Someone is pregnant, or just had their baby. We can't wait to share it. A fantastic sale in on at the mall. That's worth a phone call or a text or two, right?  Yes, good news can not be contained.

I was reading from Mark 1 where Jesus heals the man with leprosy. And Jesus instructs the man to go to the priest and not to tell anyone what happened. But instead what did the man do? He told everyone he came across.

I can just see it now...  this poor man has been ostracized for who knows how long... away from family, possibly a wife and children, all his support network, unable to work or go to church or do any of the normal things we so often take for granted. And now, he is healed! No longer will he be declared unclean! He is leaping and laughing as he runs down the pathway, on his way to the temple to see the priest, and he sees some one he knows and he shouts out "I'm clean! I'm cured!"  He can't wait to see his wife and gather her up in his arms, to wipe the tears from her eyes. To lift his son up in the air, until he giggles and screams in delight. Oh the joy! He yells again, like a mad man, "I am healed! The leprosy is GONE! The man called Jesus has healed me!"

I have often wondered why Jesus gave instructions to NOT talk about it but what strikes me the most really is that it was such good news it just could not be contained. How often has someone told you something that was so deliciously good that you just could not keep it a secret-- even though you had been told not to repeat it?!?  (I know I have)

I remember how I felt after Jesus set me free from some things that held me in an emotional prison. I was free and I felt like i wanted to fly! I did laugh and giggle -- for days really-- and I shared with anyone who would listen that something wonderful had taken place in my life and I was feeling alive and free for the first time in such a long long time.

why did I stop? I'm still free. The good news is still good news. It still can't be-- shouldn't be-- contained. But after awhile we stop telling our story because, like the headlines in yesterdays paper, it isn't NEW anymore.

But what if no one has heard it? It's still new to them.

I remember how my dad had a stack of newspapers (stacks really) that he got from others (yes, like a true Dutchman he was too cheap to get a subscription so he would take last weeks newspaper and work his way through) He would sit each day and read the old newspaper, but to him, it was new. 

And that is how it is with the good news of Jesus Christ.  Even though Jesus died and rose from the dead a long time ago, He still did something miraculous, wonderful, live giving and amazing! It's still worth sharing, worth shouting about! It's still GOOD NEWS!

And while I was set free quite awhile back, isn't God continuing to do something new? In my life and in yours? Is He not still at work, setting the captives free? Won't there always be something good to tell when it has to do with Jesus?

O God forgive me when I am complacent and lazy in my faith, when my enthusiasm for your great works wanes. May your mighty works always be at the forefront of my mind and heart. May I always be ready to give testimony, to share my story of what you have done , what you are continuing to do and what you will do in days to come. Amen.

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