27. Aliens!

“Cutting to the Chase” Meditations 27: Aliens!

Heb 11:13c “admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.”

We are continuing, we said, to think about who we are and where we’re going and we’re doing in by reference to the gallery of faith found in Hebrews 11. We’ve considered that they lived faithfully right the way through their lives regardless, we saw yesterday, whether they were receiving in full the outcome of the promises of God to them.

But there were reasons for that ability to keep going and it starts with their attitude towards the world around them. They looked at that world and said, “No, that’s not for me.” Now we did that in some measure when we turned to Christ; we looked at ourselves and saw we fell short of what God wanted for us and we repented and turned away from it. But then we realized we have to live in a world that is increasingly hostile and negative towards the things of God, but when we take the time to look at the characteristics of this world we realize it was a good choice to ‘jump ship’, not only for getting right with God but by casting off the dubious values that the world around us espouse.

The apostle John wrote about ‘not loving the world’: “Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father.”  (1 Jn 2:16 Msg version) That’s a quick summary of how ‘the world’ (unbelieving, godless society) works and the more our eyes are open to see that, the more we associate ourselves with this gallery of faith. Living in the West in the first quarter of the twenty-first century means there are many benefits, but there are also many negatives or draw-backs. Just to reflect on, ponder this: the more we seem to have, the more insecure we become. Panic buying is a feature of this time when there is even a glimmer of a threat to supplies

Or try this one: the greater freedom the modern world espouses, the greater the insecurities that rise up in people. Perhaps we’ll ponder that in detail in some other series.   For now though, we’re to consider ourselves as belonging to another country, ‘foreigners’! We are called to demonstrate another kingdom, the kingdom of the Son where redemption and forgiveness of sins abounds (Col 1:13,14) where power is available (1 Cor 4:20) and righteousness, peace and joy in the holy Spirit flow (Rom 14:17).  That is faith, as we live in the midst of this confused, often hurting, often anguishing, frequently upset generation, as we seek to be salt and light (Mt 5:13-16), a blessing to our communities (Jer 29:7). Yes, aliens within it but nevertheless a blessing to it, that is the balance that we are called to observe.

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