1 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, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor. -Isaiah 61:1-2, NRSV
“You have to watch this YouTube video,” Keith said. “It’s amazing.”
Keith and I don’t always agree on what qualifies as “amazing” internet content, but he was insistent. “We’re going to watch this,” he said again, bringing up YouTube on our TV.
He was right. I had to watch it. I had to watch episode one of a new YouTube show hosted by John Kraskinski (the actor who plays Jack Ryan and Jim from The Office), a new YouTube show called “Some Good News.”
Like most of us, John Krasinski was growing weary of the seemingly endless onslaught of “bad news” in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic… so he took to Twitter, putting out a call for good news. Inspiring stories. Tear-jerking moments. “Triumph of humanity” kind of stuff. He created a YouTube channel, took the “host” chair, and launched the homemade pilot episode of the show “Some Good News.” The first two episodes have included reports of how various cities are showing their appreciation to healthcare workers, a video of a neighborhood’s social-distance parade to celebrate a teenager’s return from her final chemo treatment, and a story about a math teacher who brought a portable white board to a student’s lawn to help her with her homework. And there were some special guests, too Steve Carrell appeared by Zoom to celebrate an anniversary of The Office. Robert DeNiro had a brief cameo, reporting on the weather. And the original cast of Hamilton appeared by Zoom to perform the opening number of the show for a little girl whose trip to the theatre was cancelled by corona.
By the end of the second episode, I was a puddle. Just try to watch without tearing up — I dare you. In this moment, some three or four weeks into social isolation, with news that the worst of the pandemic’s mortality rates are yet to come, we are in desperate need of good news.
It’s time for some good news.
And Jesus knew that. He knew it was time to proclaim some good news. In chapter 4 of the gospel of Luke, we’re told Jesus headed to the synagogue of Nazareth, stood up to read from the scroll (as was his custom), and proclaimed a little good news. He quoted this passage from the prophet Isaiah, and told the gathered faithful: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21, NRSV). Want some good news? he said to the people who had known him most of his life. It’s standing right here in front of you.
Good news. It’s what the word “gospel” means, literally. Good news. And in this Holy Week, it’s time for some good news. The good news of amazing grace. The good news of surpassing love. The good news of a God who won’t let sin and death have the last word, and who will go to the lengths of a cross and an empty tomb to prove it.
It’s Holy Week… so if you’re starved for good news at the moment, I have some news for you: good news is coming, and it’s better than good. It’s life-changing and earth-shattering, as a matter of fact. So tune in us for worship (on Facebook livestream of course) on Maundy Thursday (7:00 PM), Good Friday (7:00 PM), and Easter Sunday (10:00 AM). I hope you’ll join us… because I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some good news.
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
Want to know more?
- Learn about our church and its ministries: https://wesleychurch.com/
- Make a gift to support our mission: https://wesleychurch.com/giving-2/
- View our recent messages: https://wesleychurch.com/sermon-message-on-video/
- View previous devotionals: https://wesleychurch.com/pastor-candys-devotionals-2/