Friday, 8 December 2017

Good News or fake news?

Same old challenges?
Every Christmas a mega-bucket-load of new data flies around as we connect up new devices, and keep in touch. It's amazing how the internet copes! Apparently keeping the bitcoin currency going is using more electricity than is used by some entire countries. So you might be surprised if I hold the view that we don't really face new challenges.


Rubbish in leads to rubbish out, and Good News in will always produce Good News output. As Jesus put it, 'a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit [Matthew chapter 7, verse 18]. How we pass the information around might be new, but messaging isn't. What we have to do is check things out, so we don't get conned by fake news.

Someone told me he received a letter informing him that his confidential information had been shared, and inviting him to send all his personal details so they could be kept secure!! You couldn't make it up could you. Thousand have received the same scam.

Check clothing
'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves', said Jesus [verse 15 in this intriguing chapter].  The fable of Little Red Riding-hood tells the same. Having just eaten up your Granny, you'll be quite safe with me. I know I've got big sharp teeth, but ...

Then there are those who want their cake, and want to eat it. The Brexit negotiations constantly flag up that there are still some who think we can exit the European Union, and keep all the benefits. There's so much fake news or promises. Could get you down, couldn't it.

And now for the real story
There's far more Good News about: new beginnings through forgiveness; the gifts of love, laughter, beauty, adventure, and so many other delights in the little details of life. I remember enjoying the privilege of talking about a funeral with a frail man who knew that life's energy was ebbing. 'I don't want someone burbling on about things I've done. No, just say a huge thank you for the gift of life. I like that!

So as we head into another Spring, at whatever speed, may we enjoy the abundance of Good News that shout out with shear joy: Thank you for life, and the Life of this world. Gail Ricciuti's prayer expresses it far better than I can.

For all things bright and beautiful,
 for all things dark and mysterious and lovely,
 for all things green and growing and strong,
 for all things weak and struggling to push life up through rocky earth
 for all human faces, hearts, minds, and hands which surround us,
 and for all nonhuman minds and hearts, paws and claws, fins and wings,
 for this Life, and the Life of this world,
 for all that you have laid before us, O God,
 we lay our thankful hearts before you.
In Christ's name. Amen