There is hyperlocal news happening every day in Eden Prairie.
All of us working and writing to bring it to you in the Eden Prairie Local News find great joy in the effectiveness and efficiency of modern technology getting the message through cyberspace on the information highway straight to you!
Every day I’m in awe at the unimaginable possibility of words and images flying from my fingertips on this keyboard instantly to our ears and eyes … local news, gone viral!
God has been bringing “hyperlocal news” to my mind in these recent weeks leading up to Christmas.
Hyperlocal news happened a couple thousand years ago in the dark of night there in the little town of Bethlehem, heard and seen first by only Mary and Joseph and a few stable animals.
A child was born, wrapped in narrow bands of cloth especially for newborns and laid in a feed trough for a crib in that stable because the local inn had no vacancies.
This all might well have remained local news and unknown to others forever if it weren’t for an angel of the Lord who appeared to common shepherds in the Judean hills just outside the town then and there declaring, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people.”
That’s when things went “viral,” and a multitude of heavenly hosts appeared with that angel in the heavenly spaces above and proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to all with whom He is well-pleased!”
Because we are told the message was in praise of God, we can be assured it was delivered in song, which is the best way to be confident any important message is clearly heard and remembered and shared with others! Because some traditions call them “herald angels,” we have wonderful images of their herald trumpets and a carol titled “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.”
And because the shepherds went to the stable with “haste,” we have the carol “O Zion Haste,” which also draws from Isaiah’s words in the Old Testament and urges in its chorus, “Publish glad tidings, Tidings of Peace!”
Bad news that spreads quickly is called gossip! Good news that spreads quicker is called gospel! The spreading of this viral gospel message required that disciples following the good news be turned into apostles, messaging that good news to others!
Writers of the good news message named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were really news reporters of the gospel in their day! Now two millennia later, their words and those of the angels are traveling digitally through cyberspace, coming directly to you and me and anyone who will read or listen!
This Christmas, I’m so grateful for the EP Local News and the important hyperlocal news it gifts to inform and engage and call together our whole wonderful Eden Prairie community!
But of course, this Christmas, I rejoice evermore at the good news of great joy that still comes “virally” from Bethlehem’s local news to all people, bringing the much-needed message of peace!
Editor’s note: EPLN contributor Pastor Rod Anderson serves on the EPLN Board of Directors. Anderson is the former senior pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie. If you would like to contribute a faith-based column to EPLN, email email@example.com.