I got up early this morning as I normally do. As I was making a pot of coffee I turned on the TV and tuned into one of the national cable news channels. In the midst of the headlines this particular network chose to show a clip from last night's The Colbert Report, a comedic news show hosted by Stephen Colbert. The subject of the segment was Pope Francis' decision to hold a Mass in a prison on Thursday and to wash the feet of some of the inmates. In his satirical way, Colbert underscored the wisdom in Pope Francis' efforts to follow the example of Jesus by expressing love through lowly acts of service.
As the clip was replayed on a national news show this morning I was intrigued. I did a little Googling and found numerous mainstream media outlets proclaiming the Pope's plan to visit a prison and wash the feet of inmates including this one in the Washington Post. The article points out that "in the Gospel of John, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples just before his trial and crucifixion."
I'm a Baptist, not a Roman Catholic, but I must say that I am encouraged by such news accounts. It seems that Christianity regularly gets plenty of bad press. But today we have major news agencies reporting on a snippet of the good news of Jesus Christ and the attempt of one Christian leader to live out the Savior's love.
In the course of my Googling I also found a column in the left-leaning Huffington Post in which Allan Brawley, a self-proclaimed non-believer, delights in Pope Francis' example of living "in accordance with the teachings of Christ." Brawley expresses the hope that the new Pope will lead "all self-professed people of faith to re-examine what it means to live a truly Christian life on Earth." He finds the Pope's acts "refreshing ... even to a nonbeliever like me."
It's good to see the good news cast in a good light in seemingly unusual places. Followers of Christ should take note. Let us all give the world plenty of reason to see the good news as truly good.