What’s not to like about the beginning of something? Let’s face it we love beginnings whether it’s the beginning of a project, a journey, a job, or a diet (Too much? ok, so we don’t really love the beginning of diets). But I think you get the point – we love the beginning of things. The question is why are beginnings so popular? Maybe it has something to do with – beginnings indicate something new and exciting.
This past Sunday I taught a lesson on “The Beginning”. The writer of the Gospel of Mark opens his Gospel with this statement, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) Mark’s words carry a certain sense of the same excitement and enthusiasm we have at the beginning of something.
But what beginning is Mark so excited about? He’s excited about the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word gospel means “good news”. So by Mark saying this is the beginning of the good news – he is also saying that good news has been missing from the world and people’s lives. Now don’t make the mistake that many make about this “good news”. Many people are of the impression that Jesus came into this world as the messenger of good news. But that is not the case at all – Jesus Christ himself – is the good news.
Our world is desperate for good news – the only problem is they are trying to ban good news from our society. There is a concentrated effort to eliminate Jesus from the public consciousness of our everyday lives. We’re offended if our money, our pledge, our high school football games, our prayers, or clothing makes any reference to Jesus. Our Christmas celebrations and songs have been neutered and reduced to an ordinary holiday that has no more good news to offer than St. Patrick’s Day.
The problem is – by erasing Jesus from public consciousness – we eliminate the good news this world desperately seeks. When we eliminate Jesus all we’re left with is political in-fighting in Washington, ISIS, and unspeakable crimes and tragedy. The news is littered with the endless parade of celebrities going in and out of rehab. We daily witness the evidence of a broken world in the lives of our friends and co-workers. We often live lives of quiet desperation as we struggle with our own demons.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Jesus is the beginning of your good news today. He can heal your brokenness, and set you free from the prison of your own desires. He promises to never abandon us in our time of need. That’s really good news – and it’s all found in a relationship with Jesus. So what are you waiting for – aren’t you due for some good news in your life? The best part is – it’s just the beginning!