The Power of Good News, (aka baseball wisdom, part 2)
October 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
I promise this to be my last Orioles post of the season. As you may already know, the Baltimore Orioles lost game five to the New York Yankees in the best three-out-of-five American League Divisional Playoff Series. This means that while the Yankees advance in pursuit of a trip to the World Series, the Orioles’ season is officially over. And while it was sad to see them lose, it was a great season.
There is something profoundly contagious about good news though. It spreads. It is like a city that becomes infected with baseball fever, especially when its team has been in the divisional cellar for over a decade.
Unfortunately many in Christian circles haven’t yet gotten that memo. For some reason many enter into the Faith with great joy and relief, only to confuse spirituality with some sanctified form of misery.
I’m not sure why this is. It could be that we forget that initial sense of happy relief when we first knew that our sins had been forgiven. Maybe it is that realization that conversion doesn’t mean perfection, and when those old sins continue to press, we get discouraged. No doubt there are all kinds of reasons.
Hey, none of us are immune.
But the scriptures are unequivocal with the promise of the new heavens and the new earth. When all things are made new, Joy will be the song of the redeemed. And every encounter with Jesus in this life – even the excruciatingly painful ones where we are exposed for what we are and confronted with who we have been – is intended to extract hints of this very joy that already resides in the hearts of those in whom the Spirit of God dwells (Galatians 5:22).
I think this is what the prophet Isaiah (55:11-12) is speaking to when he says that God’s Word (not only the scriptures that testify to Jesus, but Jesus Himself), never returns to him void, followed by that magnificent epitaph, For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace…
Game two of the Orioles-Yankees series was played here in the city at Camden Yards. The Orioles won to tie the series up. The stadium was packed. The crowd was wild. The city was electric. After, the streets were filled with uncontained joy. Something good had happened in Baltimore, and all were drawn into the celebration.
I have come to believe that the people of God are intended to be a city of contagious, infectious joy in a fallen world. When joy has escaped me, it usually isn’t about the circumstances so much as it is about my heart.
But there is no greater testimony to the power of the Gospel (the Greek word for good news, incidentally) in a broken world than people who bear witness to the fact that though sin and sorrow and tragedy often visit our lives, even with great force, something more deeply beautiful has happened within – because of Jesus – and this is carries the day. We are unfinished, but we are His.
Friends! What could be better news?