Jason Coker 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. Jason’s local newspaper is The San Diego Union-Tribune. Here is Jason Coker on the Good News. His entry is entitled: The Good News and The Bad News.
THE GOOD NEWS
News is a rough business to be in these days.
People don’t want real news anymore, they want personalized news; glocalized, electronically filtered and fed news. Still, we often get nothing but bad news.
The Surprisingly Good News
Yet there is good news out there, much of which we’re likely to miss in our filtered lifestreams. And it’s surprisingly good:
- The poor and hungry are being cared for.
- The exploited and enslaved are being liberated.
- Strangers and aliens in our country are being welcomed by some, and when they’re treated inhumanely, others are rallying to their side.
- Victims are learning the truth about the crimes committed against them, and entire nations are being reconciled through forgiveness.
- State sponsored houses of torture are being shut down, and former advocates of torture are beginning to repent.
- Some are awakening to the realization that neoliberal economics merely stimulate the bottomless pit of our desires, and others are turning to more holistic, sustainable economies of equality and generosity.
- People are walking away from archaic religious institutions that do little more than create insular pockets of antagonistic societal division.
In short, the man once known as Jesus of Nazareth is getting his way. It may not seem so at times, but justice, mercy, and peace are taking deeper root in the world.
The Particularly Bad News
Sadly, this isn’t good news for everyone. For some, it means they’ll lose what’s most precious to them:
- The greedy are losing their stranglehold on our abundant lands, properties, and resources. If you love being rich or powerful, then Jesus is bad news for you.
- Slave owners, traffickers, and people who prey on the sick and needy are being exposed. If you profit off the suffering of others it would be better to die a miserable death than face the rule of Jesus.
- Presidents and dictators who rape, pillage, and torture the weaker people and nations of the world are being dethroned. If you’re an unjust ruler, the Spirit of Christ is claiming his rightful place.
- The self-righteous, religious elite who seek to dominate culture for their own gain are losing their cultivated reputations and overindulgent spectator palaces. If you defend doctrines and traditions more vigorously than the cause of the poor and the powerless, then you are the first to be judged and rendered irrelevant by our culture.
Yes, these tides ebb and flow. However, despite the often bumbling or egregious actions of those of us who identify with him, Jesus apparently is truly in charge. Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize, but that’s mostly because Jesus’ rule isn’t like a faceless corporation that attempts to crush and conquer. It’s more like open source software; starting out like a seemingly insignificant bit of code, but sooner or later spreading exponentially. The next thing you know it’s everywhere.
Righteousness and peace are coming, and that is exactly what it means when someone says, “Jesus is Lord.” Good news indeed.
|Jason Coker is the founder of Twoshirts.org, an experiment in grassroots, missional economics, and the underground vineyard, a new community of faith taking root in North County San Diego. He was a professional minister for 15 years, but now works in the tech industry as a project manager for an interactive media agency. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Jenell, for 18 years and together they live in Oceanside, Ca with their three daughters, Savannah, Judah, and Alannah.|