Where’s the good news? Why does the local paper always publish articles about arrests and accidents on the front page? How can we make sense of a loving God when we see a conflict-riddled world? And what can we – as individuals and as a church – do to make any real difference?
Perhaps it doesn’t matter so much unless and until it comes close to home, impacts our families, affects our wellbeing. And perhaps it is all that matters because Jesus taught us to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Perhaps there are no easy answers to the questions that haunt us day and night. And perhaps there are no answers at all.
Maybe a better question to ask ourselves is where does our attention rest? Not go (because it goes in many directions!), but stay… rest, dwell, even set up camp. Do we only hear the choruses of “gloom, despair, and agony on me” [remember that from Hee Haw?!] or are we able to hear “the songs of hope, the songs of peace, the songs of every [hu]man” [that’s from Bette Midler’s From a Distance]? And what about our energies in addition to our focus? Do we spend more time wringing our hands in despair or clasping our hands in prayer? Do we give more energy to criticizing others or to mobilizing ourselves?
Better yet, in addition to listening for the good news, be the good news! The late John Denver sang “What one [hu]man can do is love…” Hear the love when it sings in the rain. Speak the love when life is filled with pain. Be the love when the world screams hate. It’s what the world needs now!
“This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” That’s from Jesus [John 13:35].