One of the redeeming qualities of Facebook is finding out that you have two friends from different parts and times of your life that know each other. This sometimes gets seen in birthday greetings, a factor that keeps me interested in social media (Facebook birthdays are awesome!).
I found out this week, through offering Facebook birthday greetings to a friend I met while helping her church find a new pastor many years ago, that she is related to the husband of a friend with whom I went to high school. It’s amazing to see two worlds collide like that!
As followers of Jesus, though, we’re used to the notion of two worlds colliding. We live and breathe that reality every day.
All human beings are born into and live in the world we know and see around us. When we come to faith in Jesus, we are adopted into God’s family, and become citizens of his Kingdom. So it’s a bit like being someone who was born in one country but works in another: while you live in one nation, your usual rights and privileges exist in another. But they’re still in the same world, so the analogy breaks down.
As Christians, where our two worlds collide in the more literal sense is in the area of values. There are some things that may be legal and permissible in the physical jurisdiction in which you live that are not permissible under the law of God’s Kingdom, and that’s where the collision takes place. We are stretched by being pulled in one direction by the world, and in another direction by our understanding of the Word of God.
It is not an easy position. Yet we find ourselves increasingly pulled in both directions as western society moves farther and farther away from its Christian foundation.
Since our first loyalty is to the Lord, who has graciously saved us by faith in his Son Jesus Christ, we do well to immerse ourselves in the reading of the Bible so that we can know how citizens of God’s Kingdom should act. And because it is not easy to swim against the current, we do well to immerse ourselves in Christian community so that we can encourage one another, especially when our two worlds collide and we are faced with challenging decisions.
Read the Word, because it’s God’s revelation to us. And engage in Christian community, because we don’t just go to church; we are the church. It’s now easier! Perhaps in your community, as in mine, masks will be optional starting this Sunday.
“[W]e are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control” (Philippians 3.20-21, NLT).