Many years ago in London, a newspaper editor asked prominent thinkers and writers of the day to respond with an essay on the question “What’s wrong with the World?” The famous British author, G.K. Chesterton responded with his essay, which was simply two words: “I am.”
It doesn’t take much time, or a PhD, to look around our world and see so many things that are wrong. But it is much more difficult, and painful, to look within and see the brokenness and corruption of our own heart and mind. Jesus said, in a roundabout way, the heart of humanity’s problems is the problem of the human heart. Yes, the world is a mess; but you and I contribute a heck of a lot to making that mess. We can be envious, jealous, selfish, unkind, indifferent to suffering, sarcastic and we can lack empathy, be greedy, lie and cheat, among other things (well, I know I can, at least).
Jesus taught that we need to be healed and forgiven, and that this happens by being reconciled to God through trusting what Jesus did for us, and who he claimed to be. Jesus claimed to be God in human form who came to earth out of love, and to teach us and show us what a beautiful and perfect life looked like. He also claimed that he would die on our behalf to pay for all the injustice, violence, selfishness and evil humans have done. We could receive a pardon and the forgiveness of God and go free in a new way of living a life of love. The early believers of Jesus called this Good News!
And he claimed much more than this. Jesus claimed that he had begun a new heavenly and spiritual kingdom of love, joy and peace that would one day overtake all the kingdoms and empires of this world. The Good News also included a day in the future when God would bring justice and healing to the nations and remove death, suffering, sin and evil from the earth.
So even if you don’t believe in God or don’t believe in the claims of Jesus, wouldn’t you want them to be true? Don’t you long for a world where there is no violence, injustice and evil? Don’t you long to have the brokenness in your own soul healed? How would you feel to know that God forgives you, washes away your guilt and shame through his love and mercy? I remember as a lost, broken, and depressed 19yo hearing this Good News of Jesus, and a light of love starting to shine in my heart. 30 years later that light is still shining.
As we celebrate on Sunday night with two of our young adults as they testify to the Good News of Jesus in their own lives by being baptised, let’s remember that while there might be much wrong with the world, God is at work healing, forgiving and transforming our world one heart, and one life, at a time. This is very Good News.
Blessings, Pastor Nicholas