As of Monday, December 26, 2016
With the growing influence of social media and its instant update features, #Fake News has become a growing concern.
The mainstream media sources, such as newspaper and television, have raised serious concerns about the impacts of fake news stories on major issues like this recent election. People are turning more and more to social media platforms for the news they consume.
The benefit is that you receive it all in real time. The downside is the question of credibility, accuracy, or even deliberate bias and spin.
This Christmas, churches throughout the valley are celebrating a very sensational news story. Jesus’ birth and coming was major headline news.
It went out to everyone including regular old farmers and shepherds as well as international royalty. The news was that a Savior to the world had just been born.
This is a major claim; one that would invite anyone to not just take the story and the headline at its word.
No, instead they went to the source. Nativity scenes all illustrate that people went to the source of the story. It was too sensational to just accept without a little investigation and fact checking.
The Bible tells this story and many more. It documents them as fact, not just #Fake News that is fishing for publicity.
There was an even more audacious and salacious story though, than the birth of Jesus. That story is that not only did he come to this earth just as predicted but that he was also crucified and resurrected just as predicted. Now if there is any story to investigate as to the validity of the claim made, it’s this story.
This was such a radical story that even those closest to Jesus had a real hard time with hearing the story.
John’s gospel records one of Jesus’ best friends struggling with the news this way:
John 20:25- “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’”
Maybe you have wondered about that story and if it’s true.
This Christmas season churches all throughout our valley are having special worship services celebrating these stories. That is good news for you.
There is better news though. You don’t have to just take the story as it is. Go to a service and you can see firsthand that Jesus did rise from the grave. His grace and love for this world is what fills the people and space.
You can go and touch and see it. Something is different in these places because the story is true news! Will you go and investigate for yourself?
— Pastor David Stewart is of the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church