But to live Dangerously…

…everything Jesus calls us to do is dangerous…

So, this Spring I took an intercultural class, the “kick-the-bricks-of-your-foundation” kind of class… we discussed all kinds of things, but at one point we came to “the state of world need…” One article kicked off with these words of Jesus…

“…Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me… whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for Me…” *

As I read, it occurred to me…

Everything Jesus calls us to do has been deemed dangerous, too dangerous to actually obey

To clothe the naked means to meet them in their nakedness and be exposed to their compromised state…

To give lodging to the homeless or stranger means to invite the unknown and unwary into our corner…

To feed the hungry means to forgo saving the extra for our own possible future need and instead lavish it on the starving…

To visit prisoners means to enter the jailhouse, not fearing the risk of our reputation or that of the inmate’s… offering freedom that supersedes prison bars… reminding them they are not forgotten…

All these things disrupt our cookie-cutter, Christian life; the perceived “cleanness” with which we live… We often deem it too dangerous to enter into such situations or make such acquaintances…

Yet, God cares about such people… People the world has cast aside, God has not forgotten…

As I’ve been settling into my new community, my mind has been mulling over these ideas… Not only how can I make this new place home, but how can I continue to serve “the least of these…” in my community… How does Jesus want me to be His hands and feet, here? How am I to get “dirty” in the mess of life here?

The amazing, awe-inspiring life Jesus lived speaks volumes…

Jesus renounced His Kingly title to become a peasant

He left a comfortable lifestyle in the lap of stratospherical luxury, celestial beings at His every beck and call, to get uncomfortable, wandering the dusty streets of the Galilean countryside…

He accepted ridicule and betrayal

He rejected the credible reputation as the “carpenter’s son,” to be viewed a vagabond

He accepted being misunderstood, people calling Him crazy, just so He could be with the outcasts… the broken… the guilty… the dirty… the small… the insignificant… the ugly… So, that He could be with US…! Because WE are ALL those things…!

All of heaven was renounced so he could fully identify with us… with ME

So, if Jesus was willing to risk so much for us…

To leave His “cushy” life in a heavenly palace, for a life on the streets of heartache…

To leave the comfort, familiarity and safety of home…

To enter the unpredictable, foreign, and hazardous world we live in…

To go to the “dangerous” places so that He could find, call, and fully identify with us in our need

If He did all that for us… And if He calls US to follow Him… For us to trade in our security blanket for a simple compass and step out into the unknown where He is… Are we not actually to follow, obey, and go? Are we not to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit those in prison…? And doesn’t He know it not only could, but WILL get ugly, messy, and dangerous…?? Yet, He went just the same…

The apostles James and John have some sobering words for us…

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”**

“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”***

And now I will echo the words of the apostle Paul…

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

*Matthew 25:34-36

**James 1:22

***1 John 2:6

****Philippians 3:12

pc: Sarah Coffey, Victoria Falls, Zambia

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