“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: ‘I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.’”
I worry sometimes that we have lost our connection with the world; that we are neither of the world, nor in it.
For those who take their Christian faith seriously, it’s easy to become entrenched in a sort of churchy sub-culture. We’re so worried that we’ll be infected by worldly thought and values that we cloister ourselves away in our churches; we have special Christian schools (lest our children be infected by the world) and our friends are mainly other believers. We don’t get really involved with the unchurched who live nearby – we may be on speaking terms, but rarely take the time to dig in deep and share their hopes, joys, or their tragedies.
What are we afraid of? If our God is who He says he is, why are we scared? These people are on a journey – as are we – but they need to hear about Jesus and what He’s done. How will that happen if we don’t involve ourselves in their lives?
How to do that? By loving people. We can open our homes; we can befriend without an agenda. We can join the PTA, serve in community functions, join clubs, just be all around normal folks – but with a mission to love and serve and put others first. Don’t preach to your neighbours: converse with them. Share their triumphs and their failures, their hopes and fears. I suspect that it won’t be long before people start to wonder why we’re different.
They often won’t come to us; I don’t wonder that many are hesitant to come to church. Think for a minute how we look to someone growing up in a post-Christian culture: we appear, I think, as a sort of clique, one with a specialized culture and language that we seem to take very seriously. We are intimidating.
By becoming human, Jesus identified with lost humanity. He was the Friend of Sinners. Shouldn’t we likewise identify with the lost? They are our fellow humans with their train-wreck lives and disfunction (and of course we may have our own problems; heaven forbid they find out we’re human too!).
We’re called priests and ambassadors; we stand in the gap between unredeemed humanity and God.
By isolating ourselves in our churches we do not serve the world as we should. We need to get out of our ivory towers, go out into the world, and humbly share God’s love with them. They may reject (at first) what you have to say, but nobody can deny the power of real love. Even if they never want to hear the Gospel, they will know that God’s people (and by extension, God) cared.
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