Today’s reading is from the often forgotten Book of Jude. I must admit, I have not read this book before, or if I have, I’ve simply forgotten it. But, it is with fresh eyes that I see lessons which are as meaningful today as they were to the early Christians.
Jude writes to his audience (and from what I can find out, no one is quite sure who his audience was) not only to rejoice in the salvation that comes through Jesus, but to beware of those around them who could turn them against the true Christian way. This reminds me of folks I know who don’t go to church. They like to make plans for Sunday mornings and invite us to come. It is as if they would feel so much better about their decision if they could get me to change mine. They seek validation. I’m sure all of you have people in their lives, even peripherally, who do not support the Christian way of life.
These are not evil people. It is hard to look at them and think to myself “Ah ha! I must steer clear of these people as they represent the devil!” No, it’s not that easy. I love the imagery that Jude uses to describe these people – “They are waterless clouds carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the deepest darkness has been reserved for ever.” Yes, I know some folks that fit that description.
But, I have a counter to Jude that I would suggest. We should not shun these folks. While we need to beware the temptations that come through such channels, we also need to be on our “Christian-best” behavior with them. For without learning about Christ through us, how else will they be saved?