“It was the good news that gave the world hope.”
If I told you this was the opening line of an article on CNN.com, you’d probably celebrate. Especially this time of year. You’d assume CNN was pointing their readers to the hope found in the message of Christmas. The gospel.
This is the opening line to an article on CNN.com, but the good news has nothing to do with Christmas or the gospel. It’s about a COVID-19 vaccine. This is good news, but is it where the world should place its hope? I’d say no, and here’s why.
COVID-19 is a serious thing. Many people have been affected by the virus, and that shouldn’t be trivialized. But this is all part of living in a broken world. Even before COVID-19, disease and death were a reality for you and me.
Don’t misunderstand me—a vaccine is wonderful news. For many, it means avoiding death. For now. This is why the world shouldn’t place its hope in a vaccine. While it’s good news, it’s temporary. While it will help people in the immediate future avoid dying of the COVID-19 virus, it doesn’t help people avoid the consequences of a more serious virus. Sin. Sin affects all of us. Paul says that “death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
C.S. Lewis made this point when writing about the reality of living in the era of nuclear weapons:
It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
The world needs good news, but it’s not found in news of a vaccine. It’s much simpler than that. It’s found in the Christmas message. The birth of Christ is the timeless event that invites us to believe that the cries of a broken world have actually been heard—a Savior was born, the vault of heaven has truly been opened.
You’ve heard the famous words, “Mild He lays His glory by, born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King!’” This Christmas I’ll be singing these words with a better understanding of their true meaning, and I’ll be finding hope in the only True King, Christ the Savior.