Sunday Sermonizing: How Shall We Then Live?
As a writer, creator, and Jesus-follower - I hope my faith is always an appropriate part of everything I do and of everything I make, whether it's a blog about practical productivity, a political rant, or website copy for a financial firm. However, Sunday is my day for a blatant post about spirituality, faith, life, Scripture, mission, Jesus - and sometimes all of the above.
We live in a complicated and precarious age. The apparent black and white world of the mid-century modern era has been effectively smeared to various shades of gray, slate, and smoke. It can be difficult to navigate for those more comfortable with sharp contrast and high definition.
But the post-modern age is ripening. Sometimes I wonder if it's beginning to rot. History will eventually let us know those details - and what's next.
As a Jesus-follower, it's not easy and can be overwhelming. My wife and I have conversations about these things a lot. We always find it complex. Maybe I'm getting old. But I often can't land on a solid "side" when it comes to the many social issues that we find being argued about in our social media feeds. It's just not that easy.
How should we then live? Asked Francis Schaeffer in the early 80's, when it became clear post-modernism had solidly integrated with American culture.
Schaeffer was ahead of his time, indeed.
I don't have answers. In fact, I have fewer answers now than I did 30 years ago when I was a naive 20 year-old and a new Jesus-follower.
God never promises us answers, actually. I've learned to be okay with that.
How then should we live?
"As you've received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him"
"Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ"
"May the Word of Christ dwell in you richly"
"Abide in me"
Simple. Essential. Not easy.
Christ in me.
Thinking about it, this involves are some very practical implications.
Daily baste in the Scriptures. Especially the Gospels.
I need to be soaked in the simplicity of compassion, and the discipline of the "others-orientedness" of Jesus. Best way I know to do this is to read, study, and think about what Jesus did and how he did it. Then do it. Be it. Be Him.
Listen more than talking.
This applies in both my prayer life and in the way I interact with people. That's never been something I've done well - but slowly improving. White space in both prayer life and every day conversations adds to the beauty, and is okay.
For me, that means actively being okay with not understanding all that's going on in the world, and knowing this reality: every unrighteous injustice will be made right, every teardrop will be consoled, everything sad will come untrue.
This doesn't mean we accept every wrong as "just part of life". For me, anyway, it does mean to face the wrongs with the mind of Jesus and an attitude of faith.
And for me - this helps make sense of the gray.
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