Reading the national and international news has been somewhat of a hobby of mine for a number of years. I’ve always enjoyed being ‘in the know’ with world events. But over the past few years, a pattern in the news has become readily apparent to me. That pattern is that I’m not actually reading ‘news’. Instead, I’m clicking on images with short pieces of information that are written in such a way to get me excited or angry about something. In fact, I can probably summarize the news for the next year or more in just a few sentences. Are you ready? OK, here it goes…
Politicians don’t get along. Most media outlets won’t cover real atrocities occurring internationally, because if they did, Washington politicians would have to find a way to get along and do something about it. But they don’t. And probably won’t anytime soon.
That’s it. That, right there, is a summary of what you’ll watch and read about in the news for the next year or more. It’ll continue to be called ‘news’ but there’s little actual information available. But information will be shared to get you excited or angry about something. Something that, in reality, you have little control over. Something that may have little to do with how well you’re able to grow in loving God and loving others.
Where was I going with this? Oh, right…
This week I would like to propose a news challenge for you. It’s one I really hope you take me up on.
This week, use all the time you would normally take watching or reading the news, and instead, take the opportunity to read through the Gospel of John. And don’t just read through it, but take note as to how many times the word believe (or believes, belief, etc.) are used. And yes, I’m serious. Do your best to keep track of exactly how many times it’s used.
“Why should I do that,” you ask?
Well, because the Gospel of John talks about the significance of belief more than any other book in the Scriptures. In fact, John writes about the importance of believing in God/Jesus more than the other 3 Gospels combined. Reading the Gospel of John will help you to question, and at the same time, affirm what you really believe.
Not only that, but this upcoming Sunday is Easter Sunday. And Easter is THE news story that never goes away. Nearly 2,000 years ago, something happened that’s still being talked about today. People have been imprisoned for sharing it. Others beaten. Some have been beheaded or even crucified upside-down for sharing this news.
It’s the Good News that Jesus came to us as God in the Flesh. He lived the life we should have lived. Died the death we should have died. Yet rose from the grave, defeating sin and death so that we can know God on a deep, personal level.
And reading through the Gospel of John is one, simple way you can prepare for Easter. You can read it so that you’re better prepared to worship Him for what He’s done. And maybe you’ll even have the opportunity to share this news with others.
Other than reading through the Gospel of John, what’s one thing you will do this week to prepare for Easter?