By Ronnie McBrayer
“The kingdom of God is like kudzu planted in a field.” Would Jesus have ever said such a thing? Yes, I think so. You see, he once compared God’s work in this world to a growing “mustard seed” and like “yeast mixed in with the dough.” Making the jump from mustard and yeast to kudzu is not as far a leap as you might think.
The mustard of first century Palestine overgrew everything around it. Yeast worked the same way. Illustrated in the mustard seed and the yeast, Jesus shows that God can overwhelm and transform this world with a steady, unstoppable, persistent, invasive force. Honestly, I don’t know much about mustard or yeast; but as a Georgia native, I do know a little bit about kudzu.
Kudzu was introduced to North America from Asia, and the plant was quickly loved by gardeners, what with its large green leaves and purple blooms. The vine was touted as a “wonder plant,” and the USDA used the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s to distribute and plant the seeds everywhere – especially in the South.
Little did anyone know that the Southeastern United States was the perfect environment for kudzu to grow, and grow and grow and grow. Kudzu has now climbed, coiled, and slithered its way all over the Southeast, changing the landscape while becoming a central characteristic of Southern culture.
Kudzu overtakes the environments into which it is introduced. It transforms the landscape in which it is planted. From just a few little seedlings, a few sprouting vines, it explodes and cannot be stopped. Such is the kingdom of God and the rule of Christ in today’s world. Let it have its start – in people’s hearts, in people’s lives, in the midst of this planet’s pain and suffering – and the world will in fact, change. It will be redeemed, as slowly and steadily the God Movement invades this world with the love of Christ.
Certainly we understand that people are still hungry. Wars are still fought. Injustice is still tolerated. There is suffering, anxiety, evil, and grief. But we believe that the kingdom is growing, inch by inch and foot by foot. This causes us to throw ourselves into a fractured world, not only because we care, but because we believe God isn’t finished with this world yet. In Jesus’ name, we are joining God’s divine plot to revolutionize a society.
Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.