Touché January 5, 2018
Posted on January 5, 2018 by under Touché,


Reclaiming the Good News

“Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God…” (Mark 1:14b)

The next six weeks we will spend looking at one chapter – the first chapter of Mark.  Mark was efficient in his use of language so some of the Sundays our verses will be few, but they will be packed with power.  This Sunday Mark announces “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

It is all contained in that one sentence, but I have recently been reflecting on how it seems that the word for Good News, evangel, has become associated with “bad news” for so many. In the novel The Second Coming, one of Walker Percy’s characters says about Christians, “I cannot be sure they don’t have the truth.  But if they have the truth, why is it the case that they are repellent precisely to the degree that they embrace and advertise the truth?…A mystery: If the good news is true, why is not one pleased to hear it?”

I do not need to quote statistics, or stories of how people see the word “evangelical” as a political term that means anti so many things.  It is a word that evokes strong reaction, but I dare say “good news” is not one of them.  In publications, secular and sacred, recently there have been many writers who say we need to find another term to use when we are talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is the word that Mark uses.  It is the word that defines his gospel and the good news is that the kingdom of God has drawn near.  We will spend the next weeks looking at the good news of the kingdom that has changed this world.  We will be reminded that “evangel” is what the angels sang and what we are called to live in this world.  Instead of finding another word, I hope we can reclaim the word that defines us as Christians.

Good News of Great Joy to all people,