We’re speaking for Christ Himself now: Become friends with God; He’s already a friend with you. 2 Corinthians 5:20 (MSG)
Friday is my day with my daughter Adeline. We’re in a phase right now where I “get to” take her to a music class that also doubles as a mom’s group (I call it my mom’s group, despite being the only dad there). We sing silly songs, “play” instruments, and dance with our kids. The whole thing stretches me to say the least. I tried—on more than one occasion—to see if I could get out of it, but I’ve come to a couple conclusions.
First, this is a special season in Adeline’s life—I don’t want to miss any of it. Second, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these moms are invested in their kids development, and that our church has an awesome Kids Ministry with a similar passion. Maybe they just need someone to invite them to Cornerstone?
The truth of the matter is, I’m there for my daughter, but I’m also sent by God, because our stories are connected to the larger story He’s writing in this city He loves.
As we settle into the seventh month of the year, we’re going to explore the dynamics of how we, as followers of Christ, are called to interact with the culture we live in.
When I first came to Christ, I swung from complete immersion in 80s & 90s youth culture to a complete separation from it, thinking that was the spiritual thing to do. In retrospect, I needed a season to detox from the harmful elements I’d been around, but God had more in store.
As I continued to follow Christ, I noticed a theme rise within Scripture. It began with the reality that God didn’t distance Himself from culture. He stepped into it. This is what John meant when he wrote, "The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood." John 1:14 (MSG).
Jesus didn’t shy away from people. He stepped into their celebrations, gatherings, parties, weddings, reunions, tense conversations, outdoor infirmaries, and dangerous places to love people. The greatest expression of God’s love was to send His Son to dwell among us.
That in itself is good news and He does this even today. He doesn’t shrink back from our darkness, brokenness, or shame. Our confession of these elements within us doesn’t cause Him to flee in horror, as we fear. On the contrary. He remains and patiently loves us. He dwells with us, in the midst of the contradictions within our soul.
But He doesn’t simply dwell with us. He sends us into the world as His representatives. His final prayer was, “Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.” John 17:18 NLT
So, as we explore the theme of being sent into our culture, I’d like us to reflect a little. How might the one who was Heaven-sent be sending us into our neighborhoods, work environments, and relationships?