SOMETIMES bad news is so predominant in society that good news seems almost like a palliative to help us learn to live with human tragedy.
Yet Christ Jesus had a different perception of good news. His gospel, the Word of God, is the good news of peace and goodwill. The good news of God's love that Jesus brought is not a mixture of good and bad; it is the good news that wipes out evil. Jesus taught that the man of God's creating is blessed, not cursed. He described man as the light of the world, not the victim of darkness. And his teachings were permeated with the good news that man is not a mingling of good and bad, but as the image and likeness of God, is wholly good, as the Scriptures declare.
In her book Retrospection and Introspection, the Discoverer of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, explains: ''With our Master, life was not merely a sense of existence, but an accompanying sense of power that subdued matter and brought to light immortality, insomuch that the people 'were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.' Life, as defined by Jesus, had no beginning; it was not the result of organization, or infused into matter; it was Spirit'' (p. 58).
This spiritual sense of life is the good news we can accept as true daily. Such Christly news is more than a nice theory or pleasant speculation. Even in human experience, to be trustworthy news must have a reliable source. Jesus showed that the source of his good news was the most reliable of all because its source is God, divine Truth. And Jesus backed up the accuracy of his good news with proof: healing the sick, redeeming the sinner, stilling storms, feeding the hungry. He gave each of his followers the solemn charge to follow his example, to go out into all the world with the good news of man's present capacity to overcome evil.
This gospel, this good news, with its accompanying healing power, is a divine right that each of us can claim. But we do have a responsibility to claim it. When adversity fills the news, we responsibly bring a healing influence to bear by prayerfully embracing the power of God's good news. We establish in our own thought the assurance of man's God-given dominion and know that proclaiming this Christly good news--whether silently or aloud--brings a degree of healing to all mankind.
Some time ago, this newspaper ran a series about the serious challenges children face worldwide. As a result of reading the series, a mother who was a Christian Scientist felt impelled to include all children, not just her own, in her prayer each day. She was greatly heartened a few weeks later when she noticed a headline in the local newspaper stating that child abuse had diminished by 25 percent in that area. She, and others like her, are bringing the light of prayer to today's vast needs. Even a single prayer reflects the light and power of this Christ, like that one lone star over Bethlehem heralding Jesus' birth.
The daily news pinpoints mankind's needs and provides us with information that can be an impetus for more prayer, more compassion, and more faith that the good news of Christ heals. Great hope for all mankind comes through the power of this Christly good news. Christ Jesus told his followers: ''Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you'' (Luke 10:19). That's the good news--and we can believe it!