Summary: To tell the good news, one must BE good news. It can start in the home, with marriage; with children; and with the children and youth of the community.
You must be good news before you can tell good news. You must be good news before can tell good news. If you have a story to tell, and it’s supposed to be good news, it won’t make any sense unless you sound like a good news person.
There used to be a character on the Saturday cartoons. His name was "Deputy Dawg". Can my young friends tell me whether they still have Deputy Dawg cartoons? Well, Deputy Dawg was the saddest, the slowest, the most miserable old soul you can imagine. His jowls dragged all the way to the ground. His big brown eyes always looked as if they were about to shed tears. Deputy Dawg’s favorite saying was, "I’m so excited.” "I’m so excited.” Of course what made it funny was that he didn’t look excited. He didn’t sound excited. He sounded like he was about to fall asleep. Poor old Deputy Dawg did not sound or look a bit like what he was saying. "I’m so excited" … you sure wouldn’t think so just to look at him.
You must be excited to make others believe you are excited. And you must be good news before you can tell good news. If you have a story to tell, and it’s supposed to be good news, it won’t make any sense unless you really are a good news person yourself.
I believe that God has given us our homes as the place where we can practice being and telling the good news. If you want to tell the world the old, old story of Jesus and His love, you can start right there in the home, right there in your family. If we are good news to each other in our homes, then we’ll be able to tell good news to others. What we are for each other in our families will determine what kind of news we are for the world.
When my brother was about three years old, he would go to our grandfather and ask Grandpa to read him a story. The thing is that it was always the same story. Bob had an old beat-up Bugs Bunny comic book, and everybody always said, "Why, you’ve heard that story a hundred times." But that didn’t matter. Bob would just go to Grandpa with that old raggedy comic book in his hand and would ask, "Read my Bugs". And Grandpa would put down his newspaper, and gather that three-year-old boy onto his generous lap, and start in old raggedy Bugs. But since I was nine years old and wise in these things, I noticed that after the first page or two Bob wasn’t even looking at the comic book any more. He wasn’t paying attention to the story any more. He was just sitting there looking at Grandpa’s face. He was more absorbed in the man telling the story than he was in the old, old story itself.
Do you see? In the home, what really matters is who we are for each other. Being good news for each other is the way we start telling the good news.
The apostle Paul in the Ephesian letter gives us a powerful formula for becoming good news in the home. There are three relationships I want us to think about so that we can be good news for each other and then can tell good news to the world around us.
The first relationship Paul mentions is the relationship between men and women, especially men and women married to each other. Husbands and wives can be good news people.
Second, Paul talks about the relationship of children and parents. Parents and children can be good news people.
And then … I want to emphasize this one, because everyone, everyone, single or married or widowed or divorced or young or old, everyone is included in today’s message … then Paul says there is a special kind of good news family we call church. Church has to be good news too.
I want to treat all three of these this morning.
Let’s begin with a very basic relationship. Marriage. Being the good news in the home begins with what married people do for one another.
Now I have here in my hands a picture that, as of the 20th day of May, will be exactly thirty years old. This picture includes some ignorant folks. Nice and slim and in their early twenties, but they are ignorant. I am talking about the ones in the middle, and especially the guy who is trying to jam a ring on somebody else’s hand. You can see how dumb he is; it takes five other people to supervise! He was so ignorant about the duties and responsibilities of married life!
He was so ignorant about the way married life is supposed to work that in the first few months he would sort of sit beside the window and mope. "Not like Mom’s house. Not like Mom’s cooking. Nobody taking care of me anymore." Believe me, this fellow was not good news. He had not heard what this Scripture says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." In other words, he needed to grow up. In other words, he needed to get involved in his marriage. He needed to make a radical commitment to being married.