Len Hjalmarson on The Good News
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. Len’s local city newspaper is the Kelowna Capital News. Here is Len Hjalmarson on the Good News.
THE GOOD NEWS
When Jesus arrived on the scene in first century Palestine, he appeared announcing the “good news of God’s kingdom.”
He didn’t arrive in a vacuum. There was already a version of the “good news” on the street. It said that Caesar would provide peace and prosperity. You didn’t have to be a prophet to look around Israel and ask, “At what cost?” With Roman soldiers keeping everyone in line, it was a kind of peace.. but without any justice or compassion.
The conflict between these two versions of good news.. the Empire’s version and the Jesus version.. eventually saw Jesus hanging on a Roman cross.
Since then many kingdoms have come and gone. Caesar still claims that he can bring peace and prosperity, and we see the result.
So we pray, “Lord, Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” And we see the loving rule of God breaking into our world in a hundred ways. We see a homeless woman find shelter. We see a man kick his addictions and leave the street behind. We see a businessman who has been treating his employees badly begin to treat them as people of inestimable worth because they are made in the image of God.
I used to think that there were two kinds of people in our world: the secure, and the insecure. Some of us have houses and land – we would be “the secure.” Others wonder where we’ll sleep tonight – we would be “the insecure.”
But the world isn’t divided between the rich and secure — and the poor and insecure.
It’s divided between two houses: the house of fear, and the house of love.
The world is divided between a restless, anxious, fearful place, and a place of peace.
- Will my job still be there tomorrow? Will my husband or wife still care for me?
- Will my children turn out ok? Will the interest rates rise?
- Will I have enough for retirement? Will my friends take care of me?
Without realizing it, we become anxious, nervous people, caught in the questions of survival. And the world feeds our additions. The world says, “You need this car, that home, that job, that beautiful man or woman – then you will be happy.”
But Jesus says, “Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.” He invites us to, “take no thought for tomorrow.” He offers us rest. The good news is that Jesus is like the father in the parable of the prodigal son – he waits for us to come home so that he can put the robe on our backs and the ring on our finger. The good news is that we all have a home, and when we discover that we can rest and we can offer rest to others.
In the gospels Jesus says this: “Do not fear. The father delights to give you the kingdom.” Bruce Cockburn sings,
Little round planet in a big Universe
Sometimes it looks blessed, sometimes it looks cursed.
Depends on what you look at obviously..
Even more it depends on the way that you see..
Child of the Wind
|Len is a writer, pastor, teacher and software developer living among the orchards and vineyards of Kelowna, BC. He is a regional representative for RESONATE. Len is finishing a DMin in Leadership and Spirituality at ACTS seminaries in Langley, BC. Len is the father of two teen girls, and is married to Betty, an RN who works with women in transition as part of the METRO community in urban Kelowna. Len and Betty also care for a Siamese cat who thinks she is God.|
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