Mars Hill Church of Christ
Out of Place
“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…” Seems strange singing that tune in April doesn’t it? It’s as strange as seeing a chicken fly, or a picture hung in the middle of a window. There are some things that just seem out of place when you see them. If you have ventured out in the past couple of weeks you have witnessed a lot of people out of place. Why are there so many doctors and nurses at Wal-Mart and at the gas pumps? Wait, those are just ordinary people who have taken necessary precautions to protect themselves from getting sick. It seems out of place to watch people pump gas wearing rubber gloves and a mask. It seems out of place watching people buy groceries in full protective body suits. I saw a social media post that pictured a woman in full SCUBA gear… oxygen tank and all. But seeing these things has really made me stop and think.
I suppose feeling out of place should be a normal feeling for people of God. As early as Genesis chapter 4, God has instructed His people where to go and what to do when they get there. In those instructions God almost always told His people to only dwell or sojourn in the land. The idea was that they were not going to be there permanently. Therefore, the children of Israel, when being led from Egyptian bondage, worshiped God in a tabernacle, and not a temple. A temple is more of a permanent structure, but a tabernacle (tent) could be moved. And moved they did. It was never God’s plan for His children to claim homestead in the wilderness. They were only wandering through until in God’s perfect timing, He allowed them to enter the promised land.
This directive from God has not changed. Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:13 as children of God, how we are to live: sober, hopeful, in God’s grace, obedient, transformative, holy, and fearful. But not only does he tell us how to live, but he tells us why we should live. It’s because Jesus Christ has purified our souls and given us an opportunity to live redeemed and confident in our eternal destination. But that is not all. Peter also says live sober, hopeful, in God’s grace, obedient, transformative, holy, and fearful because God the Father will judge everyone by those standards.
To live by those standards, we must be willing to feel “out of place” in this world. Through the blood of Christ, we have been separated from former lusts, ignorance, corruptible things, and aimless conduct… things of the world. Therefore, Peter says in verse 17, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.” Again, we see God’s original instruction. We will not live on this earth forever, but God has given us directions on how to live while we are here.
“This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” It was never God’s plan for His children to claim homestead in this world. We are only wandering through until in God’s perfect timing, He allows us to enter the promised land. So… I suppose feeling out of place should be a normal feeling for people of God. I am so glad to feel out of place with you.
I love you with the love of the Lord ~Chris