This is Pastor Tim’s article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, Sept 7
As I have said many times in these articles, I am a news junkie. I read a lot and listen to a lot of commentary on current events. Yes, that is part of my responsibility as a Pastor, but I also believe it is part of my own personal prayer life to be informed.
And I have to tell you, if you pay attention to the world at all, then I am sure your prayer life is healthy as well. The news has been hard to take of late. I guess that is nothing new; the news has never really been all that good. It seems the old joke is, the news anchor begins the evening news with the words “good evening” and then spends the next hour telling you why it isn’t.
Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida, COVID, politics; everything is a mess. I am 46 years old, and I am getting to the point that I am starting to have serious questions about the future. I look at the kids in the youth group at my church and I am frightened, shocked, and ashamed of the world they will be inheriting from us. I watch people fall from airplanes trying to escape terrorism. I am hearing people debate whether we should allow displaced hurricane survivors to take shelter in the Super Dome for fear of COVID. But what I don’t hear is anyone speaking words of hope, not our political leaders, not our ruling class, nor anyone in the media. It is all bad news.
I am here to tell you this morning that you are not getting the whole story. Yes, the world is a difficult place and there are some awful things happening. I cannot afford to have my head buried in the sand, and no one has ever accused me of being a Pollyanna. Rest assured I have a healthy pessimistic streak that runs clear through me, but I need all of you to know that bad news isn’t all the news there is. It is just the only news you ever get to hear.
Let’s start with the fact that yesterday was Labor Day. The day we celebrate the American worker. The image of the American worker has taken quite a hit in recent years, but I believe at our core, we are a people who want to work and contribute. We all want to do our part to make the world run. Our economy is producing medicines, treatments, and vaccines to save lives. We are producing supplies and innovations to help feed the world. We live in a country that never shies away from a challenge, and we see obstacles as speed bumps, not insurmountable barriers.
Stay informed of what is going on in the world, of course, but don’t allow the doom and gloom that they attempt to feed us be the only news you consume. Go out and meet some of the young people that get so much bad press. Yes, they are different from us old people, but they have a lot to offer this world. They are bright and eager and want to be involved. They just need a little space in which to work.
Don’t just take in the bad stories from overseas. Make sure that you also hear about the Air Force C-17 plane that took off with 640 Afghan refugees who were fleeing from the Taliban. They were not scheduled to airlift that many people but once they got on board, the crew made the decision to go and 640 people were saved. You can say what you want about the mess created in Afghanistan, but the soldiers on the ground are heroes and that should always be remembered.
I can also tell you that I know a little something about good news. The phrase good news comes from a Greek word you may have heard of before: Gospel. If you are looking for a healthy dose of good news, go attend a church service. Any church in St Marys will do. You will hear the Good News of an entirely different variety. The pastors of this town are doing what we can to encourage you during this time when so much bad is happening. You have to offset the bad news with some good, and the best place to find good news is in the place that has been proclaiming good news for 2000 years.
We would love to have you join us. In fact, we will save a seat for you this Sunday morning.