Thursday, February 04, 2010

Hebrews 11:32-12:2

In the remaining verses of Hebrews 11, we read of people who were at odds with the powers of this world, unable to accept the status quo, not satisfied with a life that looked like the life of everyone around them. Years ago I read a book that spoke of well kept lawns as “sacraments of our suburban sameness”. The people listed here were people who didn’t keep their lawns.

Clearly, the call in these verses is for us to be willing to be at odds with the world as well. That shouldn’t surprise us. The church is literally meant to be those who are “called out”; called, as the KJV translated 1 Peter 2:9, to be a peculiar people. Are we willing to leave our lawns unkept?

But if we, like the people in Hebrews 11, are called to be out of step with the world around us, we are called to be in step with the people we find in Hebrews 12: the great cloud of witnesses.

Even more importantly, we are to be in step with Jesus himself. We are to look to Jesus and his example. Where we look is where we go. That’s why we tell people, for instance, to “keep your eyes on the road”.

It is no different with our faith. Where we look is where we go. Look at the world—catalogs, various web sites, the neighbor’s stuff, movies, magazine’s, TV shows—and consciously or unconsciously, we’ll end up looking just like the world around us, just like our neighbors, just like the people in the media. It’s interesting that this week Facebook has people substituting pictures of celebrities for the own profile pictures. I guess I’m just getting old and contrary, but I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that; why we’d want to give celebrities of all people that much time, focus, and attention.

But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, and we’ll find ourselves becoming more and more like Him.

Which brings us to the final question: Where are our eyes fixed?

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