Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Maria Drews 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. Maria’s local newspaper is the Los Angeles Times. Here is Maria Drews on the Good News.

THE GOOD NEWS

The other day a friend pointed out this stuff that looked like orange spaghetti growing on the hillside as we were going to church. I’d never noticed it before. My friend told me it was an invasive species, a plant that is not native to the area. Invasive species are good at spreading out of control and killing other plants. Since then I’ve seen it everywhere. Just today I saw it taking over a palm tree.

Weird thing is, I feel so sad and so frustrated every time I see this plant. You could just blow me off as a tree-hugger type (which I probably am) but I think there is something more to it than overreacting to plants.

I have this deep sense that this is not where it is supposed to be.

We all have this innate sense…
When the cancer comes back after ten years.
When a family is living on the streets.
When someone dies a little bit too young.
When natural disaster wipes out a farmer’s crop.
When a child is made to be a soldier.

It is not supposed to be like this.

We have this innate sense that things are not as they are supposed to be because they aren’t. When God created the world it was not like this. God’s intention was health, justice, wholeness, love, and peace. Free from all brokenness.

It is not supposed to be like this
.

But death entered the world, and like an invasive species, it did a really good job spreading out of control and tainting everything. Everything God created is still good, but like the palm tree, it just has this orange stuff all over it, slowly choking the life out of it.

It is not supposed to be like this.

But there is good news! Christ entered the world, and in the midst of the mess Christ took death upon himself. The old order, the disordered order, died. And with the resurrection a new order burst onto the scene. Through the resurrection, Christ is reclaiming and restoring and redeeming all of creation. Things are being put back the way they are supposed to be.

The kingdom of God is near
.

We get to know the end of the story before it has happened. We know that this is not how it is always going to be. We know that a day is coming when everything is going to be exactly how God intended it to be. Without disease. Without poverty. Without death. Without disaster. Without conflict.

The kingdom of God is coming.

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we are invited to repent of the old way and enter into the new, to die of the old order and be born into new life. And we live out the end of the story now. We befriend the oppressed now. We reconcile with our neighbor now. We work for justice now. We repent of the old way now. Because it isn’t so much that the kingdom of God is coming as it is moving backwards to meet us.

Everything will be exactly how it is supposed to be.

And that is just a small part of the good news.

Maria Drews is currently working on her Masters of Divinity at Fuller Seminary and is part of the Kairos LA community. She is a redeemed mess just thankful Jesus lets her follow. She loves the church, learning new things, living in community, and apples with peanut butter. She does not like invasive species. Maria blogs at Vehement Adventure.


8 Responses to Maria Drews on The Good News

  1. JR Woodward says:

    Maria,

    You going to have to show me that invasive plant that is strangling the palm trees that I love so much, which probably have also been imported to LA. I love how you describe the idea of shalom without using the word. I also appreciate how you touch on the multifaceted nature of the good news. Thanks for your contribution.

  2. sonja says:

    Maria,
    Weird to hear about that plant there ‘ invasive species’,’ that is native to the area and killing other plants’. How ‘it is not supposed to be like this’ that death came into the world by ‘slowly choken the life out of it’.
    Great to know that’ the kingdom of God is near…and we are able to’ live out the end of the story now’.
    I just started to read some of the words of mother Theresa who lived among the poorest of the poor, sick and even leppers and how she brought the kingdom of God to the slums in India.
    “He is thirsty for the kindness He begs from you, naked for the loyality He hopes of you.
    We cannot be free unless we are able to surrender our will freely to the will of God. We cannot renew unless we have the humility and the courage to acknowledge what is to be renewed in us’. Mother Theresa

  3. JR Woodward says:

    Maria,

    By the way, I love the picture of you and Mike. So was Mike taking it?

  4. Maria says:

    Sonja, thanks for the great Mother Theresa quote. I think she gets it right on- “we cannot renew unless we have the humility and the courage to acknowledge what is to be renewed in us.” It feels like a constant struggle of wanting to somehow participate in God’s renewal of all creation while at the same time realizing that we ourselves need so much of God’s renewing work. humility- i think it starts there. thanks!

    JR- Mike took that yesterday while we were at the park. :)

  5. Pingback: consumerism (1) « Vehement Adventure

  6. Dustin says:

    Wow Maria, that was like reading a modern day Psalm! I hadn’t thought of the kingdom as already present and working its way backwards to meet us, as you said. That word picture about the kingdom of God gives me a sense of hope because we’ll somehow be more and more swept up into God’s kingdom as time moves forward. Well, as long as we continue to faithfully follow.

  7. sonja says:

    Maria,
    Here i share some other words from mother Theresa with you which made me shiffer:
    ” When we handle the sick and the needy we touch the suffering Body of Christ and this touch will make us heroic: it will make us forget the repugnance.
    We need the eyes of deep faith to see Christ in the broken body and dirty clothes under which the most beautyful One among the sons of men hides. We shall need the hands of Christ to touch those bodies wounded by pain and suffering.
    How pure our hands must be if we have to touch Christ’s Body as the priest touches
    Him in the appearance of bread at the altar. With what love and devotion and faith he lift the sacred host! These same feelings we too must have when we lift the body of the sick poor.”

  8. TonyB says:

    Hmmm… i love that word picture, maria. it reminds me of when i was in new zealand. they told us about all these stoats that they introduced to the island nation to take care of the already invasive species of rabbits that were taking over. instead of eating the rabbits, the stoats just started going at all the small flightless birds that were unique to the country like the kiwi. oops.

Leave a Reply