Among The Pagans
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:12 (NIVUK)
I was a Biology teacher in South Africa before moving to the UK to become a worship pastor of sorts. I always had the idea that the pinnacle of Christian life was to work for a church. I was wrong about that (as I have been about lots of ideas in my younger years). I have now come to realise that the pinnacle of Christian life is to follow Jesus daily, hourly, even every second of the day, no matter what we do to have an income.
I think that ‘being on the front line’ in the Christian walk of life is not (and should not be) tangled up in what we do for a living, what our title is, or where we go to school. The front line in building God’s kingdom on earth is more about my obedience to God in every situation, every day.
Today’s verse (one of my all-time favourites) actually is speaking to me about getting out into the world more. Not the world where I feel safe and comfortable behind a desk in the back office of a beautiful church building, surrounded by loving, caring and considerate staff members. The world outside the church doors.
HTR is ‘a church with an open door.’ I wonder whether that means we only want people to come in (which is a good and wonderful thing!), or whether we want the Spirit to flow out of those open doors and change our community as well.
As I go into this new year one of my aims are to ‘live among the pagans’ more. To step out of the open door at church and to meet with people who may or may not think the same as me about life, love and religion. All to the glory of God and that others may know what I know: that God loves us all and wants to change our lives for the better. I don’t foresee this to be easy or fun all the time, but it is necessary and part of our calling as Christians. And we do not go out alone. We go with the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead and who lives in us. If we let Him.
Lord Jesus, thank you that someone stepped out of the church door to invite me into relationship with you. Give me the courage to do the same for others in a world that may not even know that they need you more than anything else. May my life speak of your presence and guidance in me this day and forever. To the glory of your name. Amen.
Photo by Milo Bauman on Unsplash