Saturday, May 5, 2012

Not Of...But Sent Into

 I've posted this before, but was reminded of it this week as I prepared to preach on Luke 5:27-32.  David Mathis writes:

In. . . but not of” — are you familiar with this popular phrase? It captures a truth about Jesus’ followers. We are “in” this world, but not “of” it. 

In. . . but not of.” Yes, yes, of course.

But might this pithy slogan give the wrong impression about our (co)mission in this world as Christians? You see, the motto seems to give the drift, We are in this world, alas, but we need to make sure that we’re not of it. In this scheme, the starting place is our unfortunate condition of being “in” this world. Sigh. And our mission, it appears, is to not be “of” it. The force is moving away from the world. “Shucks, we’re frustratingly stuck in this ole world, but let’s marshal our best energies to not be of it.” It’s an emphasis that’s sometimes needed.

But we’d do well to run stuff like this through biblical texts. And on this one in particular, we do well to turn to John 17, where Jesus is using these “in” and “not of” categories. So what’s Jesus’ sentiment on the whole thing?

Read the rest here.

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