What’s the best news you could hear right now?
You might want to think about that question for a moment. Your own answer will probably depend on your personal circumstances.
What are you longing for? What do you most fear?
What do you lack?
What would bring you real joy?
I’m guessing that for many of us the best news we could hear would be that coronavirus is finally defeated and that our freedoms have been fully restored.
A tough year for the history books
It’s been a hard year, hasn’t it? Few of us imagined a year ago when coronavirus emerged that a year later we would be still be in lockdown with all the hardship and pain that it has involved. Many of us have had to work from home for months; our children’s education and mental health has taken a big hit; some people have lost homes or businesses; others are still on the payroll but are under great financial strain. Almost all of us have found it very hard to be separated from close friends and family, unable to visit or be with the people that we love. It’s been very hard to endure. Lockdown has been one of the consequences of worldwide coronavirus infection.
As we all now know, some of us tragically so, when coronavirus entered our world it brought devastating consequences. People have become ill and many have died – old and young. We’ve been living in constant fear; what if I’m next – or someone I love? Coronavirus has moved in amongst us and our lives and routines have been turned upside down.
But then in November there was some really good news! A vaccine was announced, and we began to believe that after months of disease and death there was finally a way out – a way of inducing immunity, of restoring freedom and removing fear. Most people accept that the way to be protected from coronavirus with the disease and death that it brings, is to get immunity via a vaccine. So as the vaccine has become more widely available, getting our jab has become a priority. Have you had your first dose yet? Being called for the vaccine and having the fear of infection and the limitations of lockdown removed sounds like very good news indeed.
Even better good news!
Did you know that there is even better news than the COVID vaccine? There’s better news, because there’s a remedy for an even bigger problem – the sickness which ails us all. Looking out at our world we can’t deny the reality that something is badly wrong; whether it is trouble on our streets or tension in our homes we know that things are far from the way they ought to be. Opening up our Bibles helps us pinpoint the problem – but also reveals to us the remedy. The problem is ‘sin’. That’s an unfashionable word these days, but it gives a name to our preference for pushing God out of our lives so that we can be in charge. It’s a habit that’s brought disastrous consequences to our planet and to us personally.
Like coronavirus, sin separates us from each other, and worse still from God himself. And it’s even more fatal; because we all sin, we’ll all eventually die. But the Bible also trumpets news of the remedy. God himself has devised a way of defeating sin; entering the world we’re ruining and coming in person to put things right.
This Easter we’ll remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; God’s Son who came into the world to take our sin on himself so that he could take it all away. The resurrection of Jesus from death proves that sin has been dealt with and death is defeated. Forgiveness for sin, and hope in the face of death is now available to everyone who puts their trust in Him.
Real life hope
If you haven’t already had your first dose of the COVID vaccine you’re probably waiting impatiently to receive your call. Being vaccinated will give us all new hope that there is life beyond lockdown, and the fear of succumbing to corona virus infection will begin to recede. Great news though this definitely is, isn’t a certain remedy to sin and the tears and trouble it has brought even better news still? What would persuade you that the best news you could hear this Easter is that your sins have been taken away, that your relationship with God has been restored and there’s no need to fear death any longer?
A final word about our church’s name. We have called ourselves ‘Chiltern Evangelical Church’; the first and last words in the title are easy enough to understand, but what’s the significance of the word ‘evangelical’? ‘Evangelical’ comes from a word that simply means ‘good news’. It indicates that we believe and share the good news of Jesus Christ as it is revealed in the Bible.
We are a ‘good news’ church!
We are a group of ordinary people who have come to believe that the message of the Bible is the best news we could ever hear. We’re thrilled at what God has done for us and we’re desperate to share the good news with the community around us.
Won’t you come and join us, and hear more about this great news for yourself?