My daughter Caitlin was a little exasperated the other day. She had just about had enough of unemployment rates, outrageous AIG executive bonuses post-bail-out, reports of the Dow Jones plummeting and 24/7 political spin. And she's twelve.
We don't obsess about the economy in this house, in fact we rarely discuss it, but log onto yahoo's home page and bam there it is. Flip through any network news channel (we have very limited cable) or radio station (there's a lot of flipping through the stations in my car these days) or newspaper and you are assaulted with bad news.
She wants to know what the bright side of things are and why more people don't talk about them more often. She kids about the song Mr. Brightside by the Killers which is on my ipod. I admit I really like the song a lot, although the lyrics are not something I wanted my 12 year old to memorize or worse, understand. And I tell her as fun as that song is, it's not the bright side we're looking for.
Today I was helping run some tours of a building our church may purchase as a second location. Just to be clear, that's not "in place of", but rather "in addition to" our current location. I'll tell you one of the upsides of a recession is how many people are suddenly interested in church. But even before the recession we were outgrowing our building. And we don't want to leave it, we want to make room for more at the existing place and transplant some of the current congregation that travels from 90 different zip codes to another location that also has room for a bunch of new folks. This is an ambitious adventure in the midst of all the bad economic news.
So there's some skeptism about the timing, but also an acknowledgement that the timing makes a very attractive building available at almost half of it's pricetag 2 years ago. That's a very big bright side. And after touring this building the people walk away beaming. I mean it - there's a glow and an energy and a buzz in their conversations as they catch the vision of what God can do to spread some very good news.
So as Easter approaches we are spending some more time talking about the "Good News". Capital "G". Capital "N". Because when the world seems to be falling apart, there is tremendous comfort and peace knowing there really is a hope that doesn't disappoint (see Romans 5:1-8).
And the bright side gets brighter when more people talk about it more often.