no joke

Our God,

We’ve been getting bad news.
Which can be hard for those who believe in good news.
Because it creates a problem, right?
Not so much that believing in good news
means we don’t believe there will ever be bad news,
but what does the good news have to say to the bad news?
(Sounds like a bad joke!)
And yet too often, it feels like the answer’s nothing—
or not enough
(and that feels like a bad joke).

Unless—
(and I think most of us would affirm this) unless
the good news isn’t about what will be,
but about what is
not about where we’re going to go,
but about where God is,
and the difference that brings to what is.
So good news not in opposition to bad news—
good vs/ bad—either good or bad
but within bad news.

So the good news says to the bad news
not, “I deny you—reject you—replace you,”
not, “When you die, you know where you’re going, right?
and that’s all that matters”—
but “In the midst of what’s hardest and worst,
God is with us.”
So even amidst the hells
too many of us endure,
heaven extends itself
in the strong love of all who don’t look past what is
but at what is, and affirm,
“This we face together.”
No joke.

Amen.

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