I have been waiting on a certain news story to break for four years. In fact, I got so tired of waiting for this news story to break that I abandoned the company who would one day break the story so that I didn’t have to wait anymore. Now, after waiting for years, the news story I waited on with baited breath finally broke, seven months after I jumped ship. Of course it did. This past week, Verizon Wireless announced that they would start carrying the iPhone. Of course they did. In June I bought out the remainder of my contract with Verizon and headed over to AT&T just because I wanted that phone. Now Verizon has it. Oh well.
When this news item broke on Tuesday, it was huge. The story dominated the internet and the conversations of both tech-types and financial-types all over the country. Tons of my friends who have been faithful to Verizon over the years are finally feeling like Christmas has arrived, which in some ways, it has. The thing that has been really interesting to me though, has been the fine print. You see, just like all good news, it seems that some things are too good to be true. It turns out that the new phone won’t be able to do some of the most amazing things it can do on this new network. And, the day after the announcement, Verizon quietly did away with its ‘New Every Two’ deal, whereby you get a rebate on your next phone, meaning this new toy is going to cost more… a lot more. In short, the amazing news that geeks like me have been waiting on for years has finally come, and while it’s good news, it’s not as good as it could be.
But hey, that’s what we’ve come to expect from gigantic, ridiculously powerful companies, right? They do what they want, and they do it in our faces, while we just live with it. Good news is usually pretty good, with some not-so-great thrown in there. For instance, when I finally quit Verizon in June, they sent me a letter telling me how much money I owed them for quitting, which was fine, but it said that I had to pay in person. Turns out they did this so that a sales rep could chew me out for leaving. Then they wouldn’t take my money, but made me drive to a corporate office, where I got chewed out again. Thing is, I took it. Why? Because, I really wanted the iPhone and that’s just how the big guy treats the little guy, right?
Now trust me, this overly involved (and possibly boring) prologue about mammoth phone companies and their not-so-great good news serves a purpose: it is one of the reasons I love the Gospel so much. You see, in Romans 1, the Apostle Paul tells us something staggering about his ‘Good News.’ Check this out:
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God…”
You see, the Gospel isn’t just good news. It’s good news about God! This, folks, is news indeed! We’ve grown up our entire lives expecting the big guy to crush the little guy. We’ve grown up our whole lives expecting that if we ever had to face God, it would be in the face of His furious judgment! After all, God is the one we’ve offended, right?! It’s God’s laws we’ve rebelled against! It’s God’s heart we have broken! If anybody deserves to sneak in some debilitating fine print, it’s Him, right?! But praise the Lord, we find that the news of all news… the Good News, is first and foremost good news about God. The breaking story is this: God loves you. He wants you. He’s not waiting on a chance to smite you; on the contrary, He would do (and has done) anything and everything to get you back. He sacrificed the joy and treasure of His heart to win you back. Shout it from the rooftops, plaster it on the message boards and headlines, “Extra! Extra! Read All About It! God Loves You!”
Now, that’s good news.