Ladies and gentlemen can I please have your attention? I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story and I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen.

Ever since Ron Burgundy shouted those words in “Anchorman” I have realized the importance of stopping what I do to listen to the “news”.  I was at a Board for International Missions meeting and our schedules are so tight and there is so much to be done I simple had no time to stop what I was doing and “listen”.  I was so out of touch, that when I asked where some of the usual attendees at our dinner were I was stunned to find out that the St. Louis Blues were in the Stanley Cup playoffs and the game that night was in St. Louis and it was a really big deal.

So there are urgent things out there that I missed and here are a few.

There is a big volcano in Eastern Russia that has been rumbling a bit lately.  The Bolshaya Udina volcano is making enough noise that scientists say they think it should be classified as active.  How saying that it is “active”, rather than informing us that it is making noise changes anything is not explained.  We need to stop what we are doing and pay attention to this.  I was so uninformed that when I saw Bolshaya Udina I thought it was some new performance of a ballet.  Scientist say that if this volcano blows up it could be bad for the climate in far off parts of the earth.  Of course I wondered about the effect on folks living nearby and was relieved to be told that it would be bad, but there are not many people around there, “just a few villages”.  So bottom line on this horrifying and urgent story is this – the volcano may erupt which would be “bad”; it could release energy smoothly over the next few months; or, and this would be something, it may “simply disappear and nothing happens”.  I would travel to Russia to see a huge mountain simply disappear!  People travel to Las Vegas to watch things disappear all the time, why not go to Russia?

So after this horrifying and urgent story I received the News that old mayor Bloomberg of New York who, I guess, like everyone else is running for President announced that he was going to spend a considerable amount of his own money to put the coal industry oot of business because of the environmental crisis. “Mother Nature does not wait on our political calendar, and neither can we.”, he said.  Well evidently Mother Nature is waiting to mess up the climate in far flung places around the earth if Bolshaya Udina blows so why not spent that money bribing her to disappear?  Both expenditures of money would have the same effect on the climate.

I also missed another rendition of woe concerning the tariffs with Mexico, just cancelled.  Of course there are no shouts of joy that the tariffs have been cancelled, just questions as to whether or not Mexico will do what they promised to do.  What is urgent and horrifying is the reaction that we will not be able to get avocadoes and the ones we get will be very expensive and restaurants will be hurt.  I have never yet heard anyone talk about the fact that Mexicans might have some trouble getting rid of their avocadoes.  Fascinating.  Worry about our avocado munching, brie eating, Bourdieu sniffing, spoiled consumers and not worry about those poor Mexican avocado farmers is just “immoral”.  By the way I am waiting for a news report that explains why California, which was at one time the number one producer of avocadoes, is no longer able to produce enough of them?   The latest “news headline” I read promised to answer the question “Why are avacado prices skyrocketing in California and after several paragraphs of drivel the answer is – unclear.

So compare this to the Good News of the Gospel wherever it is laid out in the Scriptures.  For instance in 1 Corinthians 15 –1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the Good News I preached to you, which you received, and in which you stand firm. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,…………….

Simple and timely reporting – you have just been handed an urgent and marvelous news story and you should stop what you are doing and listen to it.