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I Heard Good News Today, Oh Boy!



By "The Good Professor" J.J. Bucci February 20th 2024 “I read the news today, oh boy.” John Lennon owed his inspiration for the song, “A Day in the Life” to the news of his day (Fleming, 2017). Lennon began the song lamenting about the death of a friend; and along the way integrated observations about several newsworthy items. There is a sense of spectating in all of the scenes described in the song, identified by one source as perhaps the finest of all Beatles’ songs (Fleming, 2017).  The final verse responds to another news article, viewing a government report with disdain and wondering why potholes were counted and not simply filled in (BeatleDoc, 2006).

 

I thought of Lennon’s musings as I skimmed my own news from this past week: news of football victories and unique commercials caught my attention. One reporter wrote about a group that spent $7 million for a 30-second ad where two actors prayed during the Super Bowl (Olmstead, 2024). How about that? Mark Wahlberg and Jonathan Roumie teamed up on the eve of Ash Wednesday to present a Christian prayer app called “Hallow,” and to pray… during a football game?

 

At the website set up for people to download the app (https://hallow.com/get-hallow/), the webpage declares that the Hallow app is the number one prayer app in the world (https://hallow.com/get-hallow/). Other resources on the app include novenas and litanies, sleep and Bible stories, daily gospel readings and meditations. There’s one testimonial on the website, where a woman tells the story of a life-saving transformation that occurred as she began to pray with the app (Jones, 2024). Her family was restored, her husband returned to her, and they each received forgiveness from the other for hurtful things they had done. Pretty outstanding for a little prayer app.

 

One author who commented on the app believed there was something more sinister that was behind all this – which she describes as “odd things” (Olmstead, 2024). The author described some of the personalities who were mentioned as a part of various features offered on the app. Each one was described not only for their contribution to content; but also for something detrimental in their background or a past known attitude or action. It was fairly easy to identify these background reminders, because many of them were in parentheses (in case you might have forgotten). Lest we see these folks as offering some insight to their faith, or using their current platform to encourage prayer, we needed to be reminded of their past failure. How could we ever take anything they might currently say seriously (my attempt at sarcasm)?

 

Believe it or not, all of us have said or done something detrimental or hurtful, as did Sarah, which if this were plastered on a Super Bowl commercial, would not be very flattering. But all of us are grateful for the opportunity to pray and seek forgiveness, particularly during such events. Some of those who have seen their lives turned around, like Sarah, hope to use their current stories to point people towards hope, and to forget the past. The Bible tells us that for a repentant sinner, God Himself forgets our past (see Isaiah 43:25: “I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Or Hebrews 8:12: “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” We thank God for the reminder that there’s something greater than this sporting event on which we have focused our attention.

 

There’s a God in heaven who cares for us, and is willing to forgive us as we commit ourselves to prayer and repentance and reflection. Sarah and hundreds of other failed human beings can attest to the power of these prayers (Jones, 2024). We thank God for those who have made this app so successful, winning over the hearts of failed sinners and stars alike. Sounds like good news today, oh boy!

 

Joseph J. Bucci has served as a Pastor, Author, HR Director, Director of Training, Professor and Consultant. His latest book, Redemption Inc. was published in 2022. Contact Dr. Bucci at joe@josephjbucci.

 

References:

 

Fleming, C. (2017, January 19). Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life’: 10 Things You Didn’t Know. Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/beatles-a-day-in-the-life-10-things-you-didnt-know-191427/.

 

BeatleDoc (2006, October 11). Lyric Interpretations [Web Blog]. Retrieved from https://www.lyricinterpretations.com/beatles/a-day-in-the-life.

 

Olmstead, M. (2024, February 11). What’s the Deal With That Mark Wahlberg Prayer App, Exactly? Slate Magazine: Human Interest [Web Blog]. Retrieved from https://slate.com/human-interest/2024/02/super-bowl-commercials-ads-mark-wahlberg-hallow-prayer-app.html.

 

Jones, A. (2024). 10 Million Downloads & Series C Funding. Hallow [Web App]. Retrieved from https://hallow.com/blog/10-million-installs/.

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