Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Jason Coker 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. 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:

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.


7 Responses to Jason Coker on The Good News

  1. jrwoodward says:

    Jason,

    When I read the scriptures, the gospel that “Jesus is Lord” is in fact good news for many and bad news for some and you have done a good job in pointing out the difference. Mary’s magnificant captures it well when she sings:

    And Mary said:
    “My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.
    From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
    holy is his name.
    His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.
    He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
    He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.
    He has filled the hungry with good things
    but has sent the rich away empty.
    He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful
    to Abraham and his descendants forever,
    even as he said to our fathers.” (Luke 1:46-55)

    I love how you have taken the time to identify all the good news that is taking place in the San Deigo area. There are some links to some great groups. I joined your twoshirts group a little while ago, now I have to get active in it. Thanks for your entry. Peace.

  2. Jason says:

    Thanks Jonathan!

    JR – Thanks for adding that. I think we’re very uncomfortable with the “bad news” of the Kingdom, but there it is.

  3. Scott says:

    Jason, I appreciate the tension in the present presence of the kingdom in light of the future that is captured in your explanation of the good news.

    “Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” James 2:5

  4. JR Woodward says:

    By the way I just got a couple of pipes recently and so when I come down your way we will have to do some burnt offerings. Nice pic.

  5. Dustin says:

    Jason, the open source software is a really great metaphor to God’s kingdom. I imagine Jesus words are both music to our ears and a blow to the chest (at least at first) for most of us. May we have the grace to believe and repent continually.

  6. Jason says:

    JR – Cool. That’s my favorite pipe in the pic. A Savinelli hand-carved relief. But I have a churchwarden too that’s always fun to smoke. : )

    Dustin – Thanks for the encouragement. For my part, the blow to the chest came later…and still continues to come.

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