Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Brian Hopper on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. Brian’s local newspaper is the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Here is Brian Hopper on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

Do You Not Know? Have You Not Heard?

Maybe it’s just me… it almost seems too obvious, too simple (and I’m a pretty simple person.) but in order for something to be good news, doesn’t it have to be truly good for the person receiving it?

If this is true, it may be why talking about ’good’ news is challenging- it’s usually good for some, but not for others (and therefore not for all). What may be good news for you may not be good for me. For you it might be that you get to keep your job – you dodged the bullet of another week of layoffs. Or that the hospital reports came back negative and you aren’t as ill as you thought. Maybe you got the good news that you get to keep your house, you got a raise, you are pregnant, you found a dog, or simply you have enough money in your account to buy groceries today. Bits of good news for you are not necessarily (and some aforementioned would definitely not be) good for me.

This is a problem with good news. It’s subjective. So individualized. No wonder when we talk about good news people are indifferent and unresponsive. Even indignant. Our senses have been conditioned to respond to bad news, so we’re skeptical about good news. It doesn’t sell. It doesn’t report with awe. It doesn’t prompt people to act. So is it any wonder that people are doubtful about news that is supposedly good for everyone? Really, can there be a type of news that is so broad and wide-sweeping that it would affect everyone in a good way?

(This just in: The meteor on course to obliterate earth has completely missed us.)

Most say no. That type of good news is a pipe dream. Pollyanna. Face it, there is no political party, no social or economic condition, no extent of global peace that can bring that type of good news. It’s just not possible.

And that was the response two thousand years ago when Jesus began to tell people that ’The good news is at hand.’ This news, his news, could positively affect everyone. Naturally, not everyone believed it. But that didn’t change the nature of the good news. And he didn’t just tell of it, he showed that his news was good: acceptance, forgiveness, healing, relief, truth, peace, compassion, friendship, love, patience, and grace. This news was personal, intimate and pervasive. Its goodness had the potential to reorient all of life. It was the type of good news that was good for everyone. And it still is.

This Good News is Jesus.

Brian is almost invisible really. He doesn’t have a blog, he doesn’t twitter, he rarely answers his cell phone if you call. He has never written a book (or had anything published for that matter) and doesn’t have a groovy organization to promote. And to top it off, his church plant in Richmond, VA doesn’t even have a web site yet (though we do have our pre-plant website). Brian does however have an amazing wife of almost twenty years, and two really cool teenage daughters (one in college and one about to go). He loves what he does, whom he does it with, and where he gets to do it. You might be able to reach him at brian_hopper@mac.com


7 Responses to Brian Hopper on The Good News

  1. Winn Collier says:

    Thank you, Brian. You’ve struck right at the heart of it, thank you.

  2. Winn Collier says:

    It’s also kind of funny that your bio line saying your “church plant in Richmond, VA doesn’t even have a web site yet” offers a hyperlink taking us to a web site for your church plant in Richmond : )

  3. jrwoodward says:

    Brian,

    Thanks for the simple reminder of how the good news is good for all.

    Win,

    I kind of found his pre-plant site and connected to it, though now the church plant has a name and has yet to develop an official site.

  4. sonja says:

    Brian,
    Good to hear the meteor missed planet earth!
    Just wondering where it will finally strike…

    I like the idea of the good news you mentioned, which is still ‘personal,intimate and pervasive’.

  5. Brian says:

    Thanks Sonja. I’ll check our local paper here tomorrow and let you know when to expect the meteor!

    Thanks for your feedback. Peace.

  6. Brian says:

    Thanks Winn for your comment.

  7. Pingback: The Good News Series « Godspace

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