Friday, October 28, 2005

Surface diving with Jesus


I have been thinking quite a bit lately about who it is that Christ calls us to be. I think we often fall into the trap of thinking that if we are following Christ, our lives will begin to appear a certain way to others. If we experince success in following Christ, perhaps we are correct in our assumptions that certain areas begin to improve; perhaps church attendance, longer prayer times, social service projects etc. But what if we begin to fail? What then? Do we continue to live in a way that we, on the inside, know is really faking it? Do we become posers so that we don't let the ball drop for others, all the while, spreading ourselves thin running marathons while we are secretly dying of thirst?

There is a vast difference between the Christian your parents want you to be and the Christian Jesus Christ calls us to be. While your parents might require good grades, clean language, Sunday School attendance, and mowing the neighbor's yard, these are all good things that may be great strides in a persons walk with Christ. These, however, are marks of being a good citizen, not the person Christ calls us to be. So I guess my question is, what does it look like to truly be a follower of Christ?

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus takes the "good citizenship rules" of the day, and puts a new spin on them. "You have heard it said of old do not kill people, or you will be judged, but I say to you, if you are even angry with a person, you will be judged." "Why do you bring offerings to the alter when you have a relationship that needs mending back at home with your own brother?"(paraphrased)

Jesus takes a simple principle that everyone of the day knew was wrong, murder. It is obvious what the law says about murder, but Jesus wants to focus on the condition of the heart, so he turns the law on its ear, and challenges the listerners to think. They are on the surface; he wants them(us) to go below the surface. It is a differnt world underwater, they say.

Shall we go diving?