Tuesday, April 9, 2013

“Normal” Christians

Tuesday: 9 April, 2013 –– Second Week in Easter
Acts 4:32–37 / John 3:7b–15
“Normal” Christians

Sometimes the most obvious thoughts are the most profound –– and the most easily overlooked. One day in seminary I was listening to a lecture by my favorite prof on loving one’s enemies as part of the Gospels’ “Life in the Kingdom.” As that day’s class progressed I became deeply aware of these words: You don’t have to be anyone special to act normal –– to do the “natural” thing; anyone can do that. But it takes the grace of God not to hit back.

The particular application becomes secondary. Anyone can do the “natural” thing, but it takes the breath of God in us to live selflessly and distinctively for Jesus.

We live in a society where acquisition is the norm and the goal –– consumerism. We are surrounded by advertising manipulation. We are urged to have realistic goals for financial security. As soon as we can “afford” something bigger and better, the expectation is to do it.

The early followers of Jesus were different. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.

Giving away what we worked so hard to have? That’s not natural!
Doing without myself just because someone else didn’t plan well? That’s not normal!
If you don’t take care of Number One, no one else will!

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born from above.”

People born from above are not “normal” or “natural” –– at least not by this world’s standard. God give us the grace not to be normal Christians.

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