Monday, August 04, 2008

The Best New ain't Jenny Craig

I normally do not pay a lot of attention to commercials. Praise God for direct dish TV where four or five presses of the 30-second advance button gets me past all the nonsense and back to the History Channel or FOX News! I wish there was such a devise on my car radio because I would certainly use it. A recent radio advertisement has me all in a snit. It’s for a Jenny Craig weight loss clinic that has opened in Jefferson City. Now, I’ve got nothing against Jenny Craig, and I’ve certainly got nothing against weight loss. I have found myself, however, mildly chaffing over their commercial. They announce that the clinic’s arrival in our state capitol " ... is the best news to hit Jefferson City in a long time." Now then, just think about that from a Christian perspective. A weight loss clinic is the best news that the citizens of the City of Jefferson have heard in a long time? Personally, I can think of a lot of other news items that would qualify over-and-above a new weight loss clinic in Jefferson City.
I immediately began to wonder about the dozens of churches in Jefferson City that faithfully preach the gospel of Christ week in and week out. In case you’ve forgotten, the word Gospel – euangelion in the Greek – literally means "good new". In the New Testament it refers to the good news preached by Jesus that the Kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15) and the good news of what God has done on behalf of humanity in Jesus (Rom. 1:3-5). The background for the noun is found in the Old Testament where the verbal form means ‘to bring good news’ or ‘to announce good news’.

OK, I understand that commercials are all about hyperbole. I’m not suggesting that the they proclaim that this is "mundane" news or "insignificant" news. After all, they want to draw clients to their services. But the best news? There are thousands of citizens of our capitol who are blissfully unaware of the best news ever to come to Jefferson City. That good news, of course, is that God came to this world in the flesh, lived life as we do – except without sin – died on a cross to atone for the sins of His people, and rose again on the third day. Sadly, even a lot of professing believers treat this best of news as though it were mundane or insignificant.

I’m sure that many mid-Missourians are excited that Jenny Craig has come to Jefferson City. Jesus has been there a lot longer in the preaching and ministry of churches that have remained faithful to the Gospel of Christ. Now that really is the best news to hit Jefferson City.