In just a few short weeks summer will well and truly be upon us. Already in the last few weeks, as the temperature has been going up and the days have been getting longer many of us are beginning to get itchy for the months to come. We are getting our summer toys out of the garage, we are making sure our bikes are in good shape, that the lawn mower is running smoothly. We might be looking at our summer calendars, trying to see if there is a time that will work best to get away for a day or two, perhaps a week or so. Summer is a great time for many of us to relax, for many of us to “get away from it all.”
Getting away from the chaos of our lives, getting ‘unplugged’ is something that we all hunger for. We like to have those moments when we can sit on the front porch and just watch the world go by as we sip on our lemonade. Many of us long for those mornings when we can just lie in bed while someone else takes care of the kids, or the dog, or the laundry. Moms (and dads) can all relate to the phrase, “Calgon, take me away!” For some people getting away from it all can truly be as simple as locking the bathroom door and slipping into a bubble bath. For others, there needs to be greater space.
As Christians, though, we are not called to “get away” from the world. We are called to be in the world, just not of it. As Christians we are to be about the work of God in the world. It might not be easy, but you can engage the world without being a part of it. An astronaut can go into space, live in space, but not be a part of space. An astronaut puts on a spacesuit, and can work in space, do the things that need to be done. The spacesuit gives the astronaut the ability to be in space, but not of space.
As Christians, we are called to put on Christ; that is our spacesuit. Because of Jesus we are protected from the atmosphere of the world around us, we can safely breathe in the Spirit. But just because we have a spacesuit, just because we have been found by Jesus, does not mean we can just safely hang out in our little space station of faith and watch the world go by. No, we have been given our spacesuit, our Armor of God that we might go out into the world. Putting on Christ is not just about allowing ourselves to live, but equipping us to live out; to live out our faith, to live out our calling.
We have been set apart, we have been chosen for a reason, for a mission, for a calling. We have come to know the truth that God is love, that God’s love for us is beyond our understanding. We have been set apart so that we might bring the good news of that love to the world. We have been set apart, so that we might in our own awkward stumbling ways seek to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, seeking to live our lives in a reflection of how he lived. We have been set apart from the ways of the world so we can fight against the ways of the world; so we can fight against the many ‘isms’ that we encounter in our daily lives. We have been set apart so that we may have life, live that life to its fullest, and help others to live their lives to their fullest.
We cannot do that by escaping from the world, we can only do that when we enter into the world. Put on your spacesuit, put on the Armor of God, claim your identity, claim your calling, and live!
With the Greatest of Hope!