Monday, May 26, 2014

Called to Be Different

The Last One In by Cayusa, on Flickr

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License by  Cayusa 

You were never meant to belong. You are an alien in this world. So why does it feel so much like home?
I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
- John 17:14-19
We are sent into this world as ambassadors, people who once belonged but who have since renounced their citizenship and transferred their allegiances to a new home. We are the worst sort -- traitors to the old, and family of the new. Having turned our backs on all that was offered to us, we abandoned it all so that we could be truly free.

But have we?

So often I have sat with people over a meal where they have confessed that their relationship with God is not where they would like it to be. They struggle with what they feel they want, and what reality shapes up to be. Inevitably, the discussion turns towards actions. Are they living what they know to be true? Are they building their relationship with God, or expecting Him to overwhelm them with His pursuit?

Do our actions testify to the God we claim lives inside of us?

Francis of Assisi is commonly attributed with the phrase, "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words." We so often use our mouths to testify to the greatness of God through song, testimony and sermon, yet our lives leave something lacking. We are big talkers.


People want to see something different. In community, in life, in work. If I claim to be a brother or sister of Christ, am I any different than the rest of the world? It should take very few words to tell the world of the change our Lord brings, because our lives are a testament to His changing power already.

This may mean giving us what is comfortable and familiar to us. It may mean offending people as you realign your priorities to what will be, rather than what is today. It means living a life full of radical, dangerous love. It may mean taking up your cross and carrying it while the crowds mock and jeer you.

Out of the twelve disciples, eleven died from martyrdom.

Radical faith brings radical results -- so why do we act like the world and wonder why no one sees anything different?

We were called for so much more.

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