Today's reading from Second Thessalonians 2:1-5,13-17 is a bit strange since there's a big gap within it. We start off by reading the first five verses from chapter two but then skip to verse 13. Luckily, the missing verses do not get in the way of noticing what Paul was writing about. This is a text that wants us to ask ourselves a question: what kind of news are you always on the lookout for?

I think we'd like to say that we're into good news. But when we turn on our TV or scroll through the front page of any newspaper, the news we love to click on is mostly negative. We pay attention to whatever is the most recent tragedy, and we linger on stories when they're full of fear or sorrow. We even might get caught up in the most recent conspiracy theory, especially if that theory makes us feel superior to everyone else. Bad news is exactly that. Yet we hunger for it, devoting our time and energy consuming it over everything else. Because, for whatever reasons, we love to share stories that eventually end up as plot lines in Law and Order.

When we spend our energy focused on what's bad, there's a chance we'll miss seeing what's good. We end up being consumed by these negative thoughts and create an alternative reality filled with false facts. The more energy we spend in that false reality, the more we miss seeing what God is doing in the true reality. And this, I think, is what Paul was getting at. We need to be wary of all those who try to create alternative realities where one person or organization is seen as holding "the truth." Because, they will live in what's bad and miss the good news of the truth in the person of Jesus Christ. When we cling to His good news - good news rooted in a relationship with God - we are given the ability to see the world as it truly is. We'll see the true sin in the world but also what is good. We'll discover how we contribute to that sin, how our claims about "fake news" are anything but, and how we can grow into something better than we once were. We will often bear witness in a world that sometimes prefers a false reality to the truth. But we stay with the truth because we trust that Jesus' story will be our own. This trust isn't something we can figure out on our own. It's a gift, given to us by the Holy Spirit, that opens our eyes to God's reality. And when our eyes are open, that doesn't mean we are better or smarter than anyone else. We just have faith - and that's when we'll see the good news in Jesus because God, through Him, is creating a new future of love, mercy, and hope.