November 7, 2013 | 11:57 am

Koalas and the Good News

In December 2000, a couple of teenagers decided to impress their girlfriends with unique Christmas gifts. They broke into the San Francisco Zoo and stole two koala bears. Police found the koalas when an anonymous tipster spoke up, fearing for the safety of the koalas. When the police found the koalas, they were surrounded by oranges, carrots and their own droppings. Koalas eat one thing: eucalyptus leaves. If there are no eucalyptus leaves, koalas will not eat. They will die.

These stolen koalas were hours away from death. When zoo veterinarians welcomed the koalas back into their habitat, the koalas began eating voraciously. Even though koalas are normally shy and secretive while eating, the koalas ate eucalyptus leaves right out of the hands of the zookeeper. After a day in the hands of ignorant captors, finally they were provided with the food they needed.

For some animals, carrots are life-sustaining. For koalas, they were useless. What does the Good News look like to a koala? It looks like eucalyptus leaves and a constant temperature of 65 degrees. What does the Good News look like on Tuesdays at West End Church? It looks like a hearty meal and some fresh warm clothes. What does the Good News look like on Friday Nights during Youth Group? It looks like shooting hoops with friends and laughing about TV shows.

When we share the Good News, we bring hope, love and joy in their infinite forms. As you encounter God’s creation today, what can you do to bring Good News to others? Who needs some eucalyptus today, and people keep serving carrots? We can do better than that.

Zookeeper Nancy Rumsey embraced Leanne, one of the koalas stolen in San Francisco