1 Dec

When I was a tween and a teen I watched a show on television called UPBEAT. It was a rock and roll show that featured live music, interviews and kind of a “top ten” favorite songs for the week. As I recall there were also “Upbeat Dancers” who performed and set the fashion trends of the day. The show was originally produced out of Cleveland and then became a national syndicate. The program ran for maybe a decade.

Why I even described the show is because it was a happy program to watch with colorful outfits on the dancers and performers and the music was lively and familiar so in the comfort of your own home you could sing and dance along.

Today when we say the word upbeat, we tend to mean something positive and energetic and enjoyable. We also think of the image of optimism when we think of being upbeat.

Was Jesus upbeat?

He is sometimes described as “acquainted with sorrows, rejected and despised and a man of suffering.” Those images come from the Book of Isaiah. But Jesus’ message was one of love and truth and wisdom.

I believe just as often as Jesus wept, he also laughed.

Pastor and author E. Stanley Jones once wrote that in the days of the early church the followers of Jesus did not say, “Look what the world has come to,” but rather they said, “Look what has come to the world!” Followers of a leader must believe in the future and have a good spirit about their beliefs to express such statements as that. They were optimistic about Jesus and his mission and message.

Aren’t the images from the four Gospels upbeat, speaking of a child savior? Isn’t the Christmas story revealing of something greater than we are? And the Easter story, though featuring some darker tales, results in uplifting images.

Rev. Dr. J. Barrington Bates says:

“Jesus showed an unquenchable, confident optimism—even in seemingly dire situations. And he commanded us not to fear, but live in hope.”

A gospel not characterized by overwhelming gladness isn’t the gospel.”–Author Randy Alcorn

Yes! I believe Jesus was upbeat.

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