Late last week, I got a piece of really, really, really good news. My beloved Liverpool Football Club announced their 2014 summer tour schedule, and one of the games is going to be played in Chicago—just three short hours from my home in Michigan! For a long time, I have wanted to see the Reds in action, live and in person. Yet, in spite of almost annual visits to the city of Liverpool, I have never been able to take in a match. And, though this match will be played against Greek side Olympiacos—not Arsenal or Chelsea—and will be staged in Chicago’s Soldier Field—not the legendary Anfield Stadium in Liverpool’s Stanley Park—I couldn’t be more excited. The news that on July 27 the Reds are coming to the Midwest brought unexpected anticipation and excitement to an otherwise dreary and cold winter’s day as I started making plans to try and attend the match. That’s what good news does. It lifts our spirits and changes our outlook. It encourages our living and strengthens our resolve. Good news allows us to look ahead with anticipation rather than simply being locked into the problems of the present. For all of those reasons, it is good to be reminded of much, much better news. Jesus said to his followers the night before the cross:

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

Notice how Jesus contexts His words. He called us to look beyond the troubling realities of life in a broken world and to keep our hearts focused on Him and the Father. He then delivered good news—He is coming. He is coming to receive His own so that we can be with Him forever. That isn’t just good news—that is great news! As we battle our way through life, sometimes the burdens of our brokenness can feel suffocating. But here is the hope that can lift us and strengthen us for the days ahead. He is coming, and He is coming for us. This is not all there is—for He Himself is preparing something infinitely better as our eternal home. So, we don’t need to let our hearts be troubled. Great news gives us great reason for great hope in our great Christ—for He is coming!   Bill Crowder, Sports Spectrum Chaplain