In – But Not Of

JBU - Tandy 150x150I’ve been living in Colorado for almost a month now.  (That bit of information is for the ones of you who might have missed me.)  I’m preaching for the Castle Rock Church of Christ while their regular preacher is on a sabbatical.  Former Northsiders Dawn and Rory Schmalzried and Megan and Jason Lawrence are members of the congregation.  Rory is an elder and Jason is a deacon, so you can understand why I got invited to spend a month in Colorado.  (Dawn and Megan told them to invite me so they could have Cindy around for a few weeks.)

Believe it or not, I’ve noticed a few differences between Colorado and Kansas.  For one thing, the weather is different. I’ve seen rain, snow, hail, and sunburn hot so far – all in May.  I am aware that I didn’t pack the right wardrobe.  (I did bring a hat, so I haven’t burned my head yet.)  I’ve been getting by in Colorado, but if I decided to move and become a real Coloradan I would have to update my wardrobe to be of Colorado.  I’ve also noticed that people engage in somewhat different activities here.  There are a lot more hiking trails, bike trails, parks, open spaces, and just generally outdoorsy things to do.  We are trying to fit in by taking a hike or two, but we’re still obviously flatlanders.  If I moved here I would have to pay the taxes for such public amenities.  I also would feel the pressure to change my lifestyle, get in shape, and take up some outdoorsy hobbies.  Then I could fit in and be of Colorado, not just in it.

In John 17:14,15 Jesus explained that his followers have to live in the world but were never to be of the world.  My Colorado illustrations above mentioned wardrobe, taxes, and activities.  Those are three areas where Christians may feel pressured to be of the world.  Do you dress like a Christian – or just like everybody around you?  Do you have money to spend on Kingdom things – or is it all spent to have the same house, cars, and toys as your neighbors?  Do you spend your spare time serving others and fellowshipping with brethren – or is all your time booked with the same busy, busy fun and games of those around you?  Do you watch the same movies and listen to the same music as “the world” – or are you “set apart” in some way?

In another week I will be “going home” to Kansas.  I doubt if anyone will mistake me for a Coloradan when I get there.  I expect to fit right in.  Someday Christians expect to get out of this world and “go home.”  Sometimes I wonder if we’ll fit right in.