Tuesday, November 17, 2015

IN the world, not AT the world

One sometimes hears Christians describing their way of life as "in the world, but not of the world."  And there's a helpful distinction and an important point to be grasped there.

But in the day of social media rants, perhaps we need to reflect on this aphorism as well: "IN the world, not AT the world."

In Jesus Christ, God became flesh.  He can INTO the world, fully invading all the dark, sinful, yucky places of fallen society with redemptive love, eternal truth, and saving grace.

He actually entered into the brokenness.  Himself.  At his own cost and sacrifice.

He didn't merely yell or post or scold or fume from the safety of his armchair or from the sterilized moral high ground of social media.  He didn't merely give us something to read.  He didn't merely throw more laws at us.  Louder this time.

He came himself, entering into a world that was suffering under its bondage to corruption.  He came himself, weeping.  He came himself, bearing the curse with us and for us.

So... if we're attempting to follow him, we're going to have to do more than spout (or spit?) truth AT the world.

We're going to have to actually embody his love, his truth, and his grace... IN the world.

Ranting on social media is easy.  Any child can do that.

But visiting the bedridden neighbor?  That requires a bit more of you.

As does asking the homosexual to lunch.  Or making and delivering a meal to the ailing.  Or giving deeply to the needy.  Or assisting the single mom with childcare.  Or truly grieving with the broken-hearted, when everything is really going just fine with your life.  Or investing your time and love in the lonely and easily forgotten.  Or comforting the depressed.  Or running errands for the burdened.  Or coming alongside the frayed marriage.  Or asking the lost friend if he or she is interested in an honest, no-holds-barred exploration of the gospel, with Bibles opened.  Or discipling a younger believer.  Or getting down on our knees and praying.

IN the world.

Not merely AT the world.

Welcome to Jesus Christ.

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