Last night Jo and I watched an episode from the 4th series on West Wing (don’t worry – I’m not going to give any big spoilers).

Toby Ziegler has to be one of the most self-righteous, and as his ex-wife says, sad characters. So in the episode we were watching he tries to win his ex-wife back. But she says he’s just too sad for her, too angry, too pessimistic about the world. He stands there stunned, wondering if she’s always thought that, if his friends think that. Ironically he then get’s angry.

It was sad watching a hopeless situation. There was nothing his ex-wife could offer him by way of solution, healing or hope. There was no grace, no chance of change. There was just sadness and broken relationship.

I had to pause the DVD. It made me pause and think of the good news of the gospel. Yes we are broken, sad, angry, pessimistic and destructive. But in the gospel we have hope. By God’s grace we are not slaves to our dispositions, our upbringing, our circumstances. As the Holy Spirit works in us to make us more Christ-like we learn to approach the world differently, there is a joy that grows in us in the face of suffering and a dark world as we consider the future that is in store for us. That is how Jesus was able to endure the cross. As the gospel captures our hearts we are turned from self-righteous, sad, inward looking people without hope into lovers – of God and others.

It really is good news…