19 April 2017

Of This World!

Happy Easter!

For some time now, I have been wrestling with the idea that is often proposed by Christians.  More often than not, this idea is presented in those "NOTW" stickers that so many people put on their cars.  I am well aware that this is a fad and that to proclaim to the world that I am not of it, is a badge of honor that most Christians choose to display as they're zooming at 10 miles over the speed limit, riding your rear bumper.   I'm sure its because they are late for church.  The problem with this fad, however, is that it represents a counter argument to everything that the Christian message and Christ's resurrections represent.  First of all, it is a gimmick that someone invented and has made a significant amount of money off of, like sheep (and not the Jesus kind) so many of us have fallen over ourselves to proclaim our love of Jesus by purchasing these gimmicks and displaying them proudly.  Good for you, but where is the essence of the Christian, an essence that calls us to be a part of the world in a radically different manner?  As I have encountered God, I have come to realize that God's divine and unending love is not to be contained, and it is not to be relegated to a Heaven that is unattainable unless you have those stickers on your car.  I have come to recognize that what Christ does in His resurrection is to give each and every one of us a new dignity, or rather, he calls us to celebrate that dignity that is inherent to each and every one of us, no matter what!  To that end, the Gospel message of Christ's resurrection isn't that we are liberated of those things that make the world "icky," instead, the Gospel message is that even in the midst of those things that we find difficult to understand or accept, God's love is at work.  Even in the profound darkness of death, God is alive and just was we want to run to the bosom of Jesus and escape the world, we are sent.  Jesus tells Mary Magdalene to not touch him and then to go to Galillee.  In other words, don't stick to the old ways, the familiar ways of doing things, and don't buy those stupid bumper stickers, LIVE YOUR LIFE and GO!  That is what is most amazing about the love of God and Christ's resurrection, that through his resurrection, we are redeemed in a manner that should make us fearless as we face the world, not it's judge or hiding from it, but fearless as we celebrate our very own beauty and love.  Too many preachers proclaim that to belong to God, one must be as sinless as possible or at the very least, one must be not of this world.  I say, no!  I am of this world because this world is beautiful!  You are beautiful!  I am beautiful!  And I will not live in fear because I know that I am loved.  Celebrate who you are and be of this world because it is here that God is at work, and it is here that God calls us beyond the darkness of death into the glory of life!  May you be blessed for you are beautiful and you are loved!

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