Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#224 Good News Bad News

Has anyone ever come to you with the question, "What do you want first? The good news or the bad news?" Me? I choose to hear the bad news first, thinking that when I hear the good, it will take the sting out of the bad.

Around 700 B.C., the prophet Isaiah couldn't wait to share good news. 

Characteristically, people ran from Isaiah, because if he didn't have bad news, he'd have no news at all. In sharp contrast to warning words of coming judgment and doom, the prophet had news that when it came to pass, would change the course of history forever.

"A child has been born for us.

We have been given a son

who will be our ruler.

His names will be

Wonderful Advisor

and Mighty God,

Eternal Father

and Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6 CEV

Fast forward about 700 years. In Bethlehem Ephrathah, small among the clans of Judah, in the fullness of time, wrapped in cloths and placed in a manger, the child, the son, the ruler, the One of whom the prophets spoke, was come into our world.

That's the good news.

"He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him."
John 1: 10-11 

That, my friend, is the bad news.

I don't know if reading those words had any effect on you, but they never fail to take my breath away, no matter how many times I've read them. To me, they are the saddest words in all of holy Scripture.

The long awaited, the One to whom every small letter and stroke of pen pointed, the vision of every prophet's dream and sound of voice, the light, the life, came into the world flesh, tabernacled among men, and they neither recognized nor received Him.  

Fast forward again. A little over two thousand years.

Do we recognize Christ in Christmas?

Do we recognize Him at all?

Do we recognize Him in every rising and setting of the sun? Hear Him in a child's laughter? Smell His fragrance on a newborn baby's skin? Behold Him in the strength of a widow, wife of 50 years, her first Christmas without? 

Do we recognize Him in a drop of rain that yields yellow and pink and purple springs? Do we see Him in the snowflake, uniquely different from every other? Do we bow to the Giver when we see breath in cold winter air? 

Does the bell peal for Him? Do the carols sing of Him?

He is the face of hunger, the parch of thirst. He is the stranger and the naked. He is the sick. He is the lonely. He is the imprisoned. 

Do you recognize Him?

Are you even looking?

Bows and boxes. Malls and madness. Debt and delirium. 

Do we know it's Christmas time at all?

He is in the world. A world that doesn't recognize Him.

That which is His own, doesn't receive Him.

Bad news for certain.


"Behold, I am coming soon."
(Revelation 22: 7, 12, 20)

Then, Kyrios, the name above every name, will fell every knee to the ground, in heaven, on earth and under the earth. Every tongue will confess that Jesus, the  Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That is Good News!


  1. Amen, sister! :-) Great post and a great reminder to seek Christ first, above all other things.


  2. An inspirational post. Thank you.

  3. Very beautiful words and a very timely reminder as everyone rushes around doing their own things in this season. Thank you for sharing them with us. Blessings to you

  4. Every gift I wrap is a reminder of the gift of Jesus from the Father to me:) I wouldn't want a Christmas without Jesus!

  5. Thank you for your passion. It is beautiful to behold, to read.

  6. YES. He is coming AGAIN. I am looking forward to his coming. I'm using Advent to refocus my life. Thanks for your words. I love the company I'm keeping this Advent season.

  7. he is coming, for sure. and he is here, in everything around us if we look, and there are opportunities to see him...and show him...and recognize him....

  8. Very inspiring!!!!!!
    We need to seek Christ in all things I agree. Seek without ceasing :)

  9. Too many people have taken Christ out of Christmas. I myself have been guilty of getting caught up in the busyness that I forget to slow down and meditate on the real reason we celebrate.

    Great post.

  10. oh friend, how full, your heart, with Christ... how beautiful this post. thank you.

  11. AHHH...I love this. YES!! My family is working hard to not miss Christ, not just in this season, but every season of life. So hard, yet so rewarding. We must slow down, for only then can we really see the colors of life!

  12. The bad news is hard to take...but the Good News far outweighs it! I am so thankful for God's plan and what He did for us by coming into this world on that first Christmas! To coin an often repeated phrase; Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

    Blessings, Joan

  13. Thank you for a great reminder! Beautiful post. I am a new follow.

  14. Dear Donna, What a beautiful post! One of the saddest Bible verses to me is how Agrippa was "almost persuaded" to be a Christian (Acts 26:28), which, sadly means he went to hell. There was no room for Him in the inn, and so many have no room for Him in their hearts, even though He offers salvation freely to "whosoever" will come.
    Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow mine, Saved by Grace
    Laurie Collett

  15. Well said...great reminder to ask ourselves if we recognize the light that shines in the darkness.

  16. Do we recognize Him? Do we look for Him and see Him, not just at Christmas, but in the everyday?

  17. Mindblowing how many churches are cancelling services, this year, because Jesus's birthday falls, inconveniently, on a Sunday.

  18. Hello Donna,
    I like what you say in this post. It can be easy to get caught up in the 'what to buy for christmas'attitude and forget the 'Love of Christmas'.
    I used to tell my children that Christmas isn't just a season...it's an attitude, and Christ came to earth to save us and that every time we help someone we're spreading Christmas Love..
    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

  19. I love this Donna! So inspiring and such a great reminder for this Christmas season. I actually just wrote a post similar to this - about how we sometimes forget the true meaning of Christmas because we get caught up in the sparkles, bows and gifts. I tried to remind my readers that we, as Christians, are to sparkle - be a light to the world, a city on a hill. And how important it is to remember that, especially during a season that is all about Christ and His love for us.

    Thank you for sharing!

  20. This is a beautiful post and you have a wonderful blog. I'm Sarah, I found you on Super Stalker Sunday. I would love for you to stop by and follow back. Thanks and Happy Holidays.


  21. Popping by from FTLOB. Happy to read this post and feel inspired and reflective. Thank you for that opportunity.

    Happy seeing beautiful!

  22. Hi Donna - great post, and love the scripture you have used. I also wanted to thank you for linking up with me on Winsome Wednesday and look forward to seeing you there again this week. You are a blessing
    God bless

  23. Love your post. I wrote about the silence that happened in between Isaiah's prophecy and the birth of our Savior. Silence - not something I'm comfortable with. Blessings.

  24. Boy is it ever GOOD NEWS! Such a good post! Thank you for linking it with Evatt's Beautiful Mess today! So glad I got to read it and be encouraged!

  25. Beautiful post. I am now in the midst of teaching the Book of Isaiah. His news certainly wasn't what the people wanted to hear. Even today the Good Book goes unheeded and they forget what Christmas is all about. If it weren't for Jesus being born, we would be in worse shape than we are now. thank you for this reminder.

  26. So beautiful, Donna. I love that scripture from Isaiah, it just fills me with awe.

  27. Beautiful thought provoking post, Donna. The good news is so good that it overshadows the bad news. Thank you for sharing.