Are you tired of the endless stream of bad news?
It looks like wherever we look it’s bad news – international disasters, national problems, local tragedies and the never ending issue of covid19 means that there is always news to pay attention to. But is it helpful? Is it healthy? Does it affect your mental health and leave you feeling flat?
Gloria Borger (Chief political analyst at CNN) states the truth when she said – “For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.”
Yet we keep going back to our various news sources, whether that is scrolling through our various news sites online or watching on TV (and I think some people still get newspapers, right 😉 ). It is all the same depressing dynamic filtered and packaged in different ways.
Let me come clean and admit it, I’ve been a news junkie for many years, but something recently snapped in me. I read Alain de Botton’s book on journalism and news media titled ‘The News’ and was convicted to take a break from reading the news and now 6 months later I’ve rarely missed it. de Botton opened my eyes to the feigned significance of the news. He comments “We need relief from the news fuelled impression that we are living in an age of unparalleled importance”. I now find myself keener than ever to read books on how the world has been shaped (both Christian and secular books) but I’ve come to realise that claim by news outlets that today’s headlines are an important unfolding of history is just not the case. Most days are comparatively uneventful and that’s ok. Not every day can contain mountain top experiences, instead Jesus calls us to be “good and faithful servants” (Matt 25:21) and for many of us to enjoy living quiet and simple lives (1 Thes 4:11).
de Botton acknowledges that “A flourishing life requires a capacity to recognise the times when the news no longer has anything original or important to teach us” and he suggests instead we should connect with people and silence and nature (page 255). Jesus offers us something even better than just disconnecting from a barrage of horror, conflict and negativity that we unleash upon ourselves most times each time we scroll the news. God has brought us news that seems more relevant now that it was 2,000 years ago when it was first announced. “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people” Luke 2:11
And that news IS Jesus. God knows that many of us struggle with fears. At Christmas we can celebrate the news that has shaped all of history and can personally be a source of strength. A God who loves YOU so much that he invites you to get to know him in the person of Jesus, God in flesh.
If you need more good news in your life this Christmas season come join us in our series “Good news for a change” Sunday 10am in person or online at Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/109666824 with password:1973 (or afterwards on the podcast page).
Have a blessed Christmas season. Scott Berry