It has been said that what makes something newsworthy is if the story is abnormal. When someone is killed by another person, then it is newsworthy. It goes against the social contract, laws, and collective ethics when someone kills someone. This may be why we find it newsworthy when an animal escapes from a zoo. The accepted norm is that captive animals will remain captive in the zoo and when they are outside the zoo then it is not “abnormal”. This may also be why there is so little news about the good that is happening all around us. It is not abnormal for someone to treat another person with kindness. Most actions of “Good Samaritans” do not cut against the social grain.
When we talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we talk about it being Good News. There are debates about what is so good about this news or if it is “good” at all. But I want to ask my Christian sisters and brothers, is the “Good News” actually news to anyone?
When we distill the Gospel of Christ down to a series of ethical codes that teach us how to be “Good Samaritans” then we are missing the point of the “news” part of the “Good News”. Treating each other with kindness is not abnormal. It is written in every ethical document that exists. The golden rule is called the golden rule not only for its ethical value but also for its universal appeal.
Perhaps one of the reasons that many people are apathetic to the Christian religion is because we have taken the “Good News” and, in our efforts to make it feel more “normal” to the masses, have removed the news out of the story. Now we have things like “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and “The Message”.
Which all sounds good.
But it is it news?