Bringing the Text to Life

Wrong! John 3:1-17

Are things ever actually as bad as they seem? Or are things really much worse than we ever imagined? As Christians we have never been promised that life will be smooth and easy. What we have been promised is the assurance of God''s presence in our lives through good times and bad, in prosperity and poverty, in our strength and in our weakness.

"Good news/bad news" jokes are a common humorous form used to reveal both sides of life's little complexities. Contrary to the traditional joke form, however, columnist L.M. Boyd reports that 63% of people prefer to hear bad news first when they are given "good news/bad news." Boyd claims this preference stems from our childhood training when we were told we must first eat all our broccoli before we could have our chocolate cake.

The sixth chapter of Isaiah starts out like one of these inverted good news/bad news jokes: "In the year King Uzziah died" (the bad news) "I saw the Lord" (the good news). The Church today finds itself as the punch line of yet another good news/bad news joke. The good news for the Church is that more and more people are embarking on a spiritual search for experienced meaning in their lives. There is an increasing recognition that the soul needs more than a new Miata and a second home to ease its longings. The bad news is that this "great awakening" of...

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