The Parish of Burchetts Green

This month Rev Keith writes about

Good News

Return to God

As well as announcing good news, Jesus also demanded a response from his listeners. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’ The word translated as repent was not simply regret, or saying sorry but carried an intention to actively reform. Jesus meant something like ‘Turn your lives around, leave behind the beguiling but ultimately flawed man-made narratives of today and return to God and his ways. He will liberate you in ways you can scarcely imagine.’

Jesus’ kingdom proclamation was accompanied by action. He came to change us, to bring each of us back to God, to re-orientate our lives. This will be reflected in how we live.


Jesus identified with the poor and marginalised as individuals, bringing healing, solutions to their problems, answers to their questions. He brought good news. He calls us to the same.

Today, will you hear Jesus say, as his first disciples did: ‘Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known? Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?’

I trust that you will have an excellent summer break.

 GOOD NEWS. There doesn’t seem to be much of it about right now. Flicking though the BBC and ITV news websites I found the tortured Brexit negotiations, the decimation of our high street stores, the antics of the rogue state Russia. I couldn’t find much that could be described as good news.

In our services over the summer we will be reading and thinking about Mark’s Gospel. The word Gospel means good news. Mark’s Gospel begins: ‘The beginning of the good news…’ Jesus began his speaking career similarly: ‘Jesus went into Galilee proclaiming the good news.’


Good news for a change! And not the sort of good news that sometimes makes its way into our newspapers; stuff of secondary importance like ‘England finally wins Test Match’ or ‘Eurovision Song Contest abolished’. (I made that up, but, for me, it would be very good news!)

The Greek translated ‘good news,’ referred to the announcement of a world-changing event, like the positive outcome of a major war.

At its heart Christianity is not a religious system or an ethical programme or a special kind of spirituality. It is the announcement of epoch-making good news. And it’s a royal announcement, for Jesus continued: ‘The kingdom of God has come near.’ Jesus is king, and the kingdom of God is accessible to all. That surely must be good news!