Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Dave Kludt on The Good News

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

Illustration by Nidhi Balwada from India

This entry is a part of an on-going blog series called The Good News, which is taking place throughout the Easter Season, from Easter to Pentecost. A full list of the contributors can be found here. Dave’s local city newspaper is the Los Angeles Times. Here is Dave Kludt on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS
I woke up early on Easter morning around 4:45 AM to join some close friends at the top of Mount Wilson, just north of Pasadena, to watch the sun rise over the San Gabriel peaks. At 5:30, as we drove up the mountain roads, darkness still dominated the sky and the indications of the coming light were evident only to those awake at this ’ungodly’ hour.

Two thousand years ago, in the Middle East, a man of humble human origin and clear (yet still paradoxical) divine origin lived a life and died a death that was, and still is, an anomaly to our world: a life fully devoted to God and fully spent for the sake of others. He was devoted to proclaiming through words and actions the blueprints of God’s purposes for the universe (which he called God’s reign or kingdom). Through his embodiment of this purpose, he lived as a whole person, free from the fragmentation and brokenness that plague each of us on both an individual and communal level.

Whispers about this man quickly spread throughout the ancient landscape: heart-wrenching diseases healed with a touch, tormenting spirits silenced, social outcasts welcomed at the table for the first time, the painful curse of death reversed. But it was not just that man’s life, but also his death – and the life that continued even after death that we now celebrate on Easter Sunday – that transformed a narrative that began with the creation of the world. Communities gathered together in order to share the Good News embodied by this person who made possible a new kind of Life. The Good News about this new Life challenges us to recognize more than we ever have before how broken we are. It demands that we reshape our priorities and join others in community to do what we can to point to the one who truly lived and allows us to Live.

To come back to the Easter sunrise, I believe that we exist in a world stuck between 5:30 AM and sunrise on Easter morning. Darkness exists all around us, but there is a world yearning to awaken unto a bold and brilliant sunrise. This Good News has brought me into a community of people across the world that recognizes that the long, dark night is not forever. The Life that became real to us 2,000 years ago through Christ is now accessible to us and causes us to live in expectation of the final sunrise.

Dave Kludt is finishing the final quarter of his Master of Divinity at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA and is part of the Kairos Los Angeles community. He loves the ocean, but misses the Midwest’s lakes, rivers, and streams. He does not miss humidity. His local newspaper is the Los Angeles Times.


10 Responses to Dave Kludt on The Good News

  1. Anneka says:

    Nice image =) probably the best in the series so far. Thanks =)

  2. Sonja says:

    Dave,
    So nice to read a story in kind of a poetic style.The introduction made me curious ‘who’ this person could be you kind of formed to a new shape out of the clayground to have a being.Of course it was Jesus.How could i have missed out on that….

    ‘When you wrote about the ‘devoted to proclaiming…..the blueprints of God purposes’ i immediately saw all these different poststamps in blue on a card from different countries.
    What exactly do you mean by ‘free from… and brokenness that plagues each of us’?Are you saying Jesus was not a broken person?I know He was without sin though.
    It’s quite a contrast for me then when you share about the’ challenge we face about this new life to recognize more than ever how broken we are’…How do you connect those together in light of what Jesus went through.Are suffering,brokeness and to have compassion related somehow??
    Hebrew 4:15
    I wonder what your thoughts are on that.

    Is it not that the good news even when darkness surround us He can show us a ‘sunrise’ already?Or do you mean by the final sunrise ‘the last deliverence’

  3. Sonja says:

    by the way i really like this phrase ‘Darkness exists all around us, but there is a world YEARNING to awaken unto a bold and brilliant sunrise’ So powerfull.

  4. Dave says:

    Sonja,

    Thanks SO much for your comments and interactions! I really appreciate being pushed, challenged, and opened up to new ideas and possibilities on this topic!

    I like the image of the “blueprints of God’s purposes” as a way to get my own mind around what Jesus meant by the kingdom of God. And I like the image that it brought to your mind – of a global mission/plan that encompasses the vast corners of our world and brings them united together.

    When I used the work brokenness (and Jesus’ lack of brokenness), I guess I may have meant it in somewhat of a psychological sense – the idea that Jesus’ was confident in his identity and did not have to (ab)use others in order to satisfy his own needs. That’s one of the primary ways that I think about brokenness – our inability to feel good about ourselves outside of the reassurance that we get from others (in whatever manner that reassurance comes). In reading the Gospels, I see Jesus as someone that was able to minister to others because his work FOR others was TRULY for them (rather than an attempt to find value in himself) (there is definitely an influence here from Henri Nouwen and his writings). I appreciate the points you raised about the way that we might define Jesus’ “brokenness” and I think the Hebrews text is a great example! If you have any further thoughts on why it might be helpful to think more about the ways in which Jesus was broken, I would love to hear them – it might be a point that needs a bit of balancing!

    And, with the last sunrise, I was looking toward the “last deliverance”/eschatological aspect that we look forward to – the idea that there is a “not yet” that we can taste and have glimpses of, but do not fully experience.

    Thanks so much for the interaction!

  5. Sonja says:

    Thanks Dave for the explaination,it sure does make so much more sense about the abusive ways of today and how Jesus was so confident in His identity related to the Father,He just knew the plan to prosper and that joy waiting ahead of that road…I understand the inspirational quotes and work of Henri Nouwen you came from.He is indeed an example of a broken life,but soo powerful.
    brokeness and weakness does that go together?Maybe family where all of us find these challenges.lol
    I sometimes wonder in what way Jesus related to His earthly father Joseph and how He honoured Maria as a mother,but yet ran off to the temple..How He played with His brothers at childhood,but would they never fought?
    How His body physical was broken with a spear through His side.. and the bread been used as an example to be broken too.How it symbolizes the ‘body of Christ’
    Did He not get so in touch with His real self through all the sufferings and brokeness
    before…He only ministered for three years right?At the age around thirty if i remembered well.I hope this would add a little more to the reflection where Jesus
    endured part of a brokeness..Maybe i’m even soo off here.I just always admire Jesus for His great example to always searched for a way to reflect His Fathers glory ,and how He feared the Father more then man.

  6. Ali says:

    Love the post man…beautiful image of the very nature of Jesus and the uprising in the early days. Great job man!

  7. jrwoodward says:

    Dave,

    I appreciate your emphasis on how the life, death and resurrected life of Christ calls us as his people to communal transformative living. I also like the way you use the sunrise illustration to emphasize the reality of the in-between times in which we currently exist. Not only is it poetic illustration but it helps us to make sense of the brokenness that still exists in us and the world. Thanks for writing.

  8. Dave says:

    Anneka, Ali, and JR – thanks for the comments. I appreciate hearing your thoughts!

  9. Dustin James says:

    Wow Dave, your writing just flows. I like the image of communities gathering together (springing up) to remember this man Jesus that died and rose again who gave them the opportunity to live the new life.

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