Light in Darkness

Bad news. And then, more bad news. Open up the newspaper or watch the news these days and it seems there’s nothing but bad news in front of you. A recent double murder at a hotel in Alabaster, including one victim who was not even a year old. Another murder in Calera. Of course, neither of those stories compared to the calculated mass murder in Norway a few weeks back. Brutality and a general disregard for life seems to be the order of the day.

The economy continues to bottom out, with unemployment high and housing prices low. Then, there’s the current tanking of the stock market, with yesterday’s drop the biggest in years and a sign of a possible “double dip” recession. It’s no fun to watch your 401K or IRA disappear right in front of your eyes–again–as many of you know firsthand.
In Washington there’s the rancor and “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” rhetoric associated with the debt ceiling and budget woes, as all the politicians pass the political hot potato, blaming everyone else for the problems. Even the compromise deal this week that kept the government afloat left no one happy.
Locally, you have an on-going front page news of the corruption trial involving state politicians and their friends in the electronic bingo world. And, even closer to home, Jefferson County faces a hopeless financial situation and the probability of the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of these United States.
The constant diet of bad news is enough to depress anybody.
So. What is our role? Can we as a local church make a difference in such a messed up world? What do we have to offer, to counter the constant barrage of bad news?
How about hope. And truth. And love. How about good news.
If nothing else, as Christians are bearers of the Gospel, which by its very definition means “good news.” We can offer hope for the person who can’t see a reason to go on, truth for those trapped in a world of dishonesty and inauthenticity, love for even those caught up in despicable sin. And that hope is in the person of Jesus Christ.
It’s no secret our world is getting darker by the day. That’s the bad news. But Jesus Himself said it didn’t have to be that way. “You are the light of the world,” He said. That’s the good news.
May your light shine brightly for Him this week. I’m praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.
–Pastor Ken