There’s an old song that starts off: ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a’ passin’ through.’ The lyrics capture the belief of many Christians that our mission is to forget about this world and focus exclusively on getting people saved from hellfire. This is why large segments of Christianity look away from ‘dirty’ politics, or don’t get involved with impacting their culture. Thinking that they are not responsible for anything beyond soul-saving, they just don’t bother with art, science, education, or even charities that don’t pitch Jesus.
Indeed, Christ’s Kingdom is not OF this world, but it certainly is FOR this world. That’s why Martin Luther said that if he knew Jesus was returning tomorrow, he’d still plant an apple tree today. Why?
Because Jesus came TO the earth AS A HUMAN…as one of us. His Incarnation–his coming TO the earth– means that the things of the earth matter to God. Because Jesus was human, humans are worth caring about. Life here and now is sacred, and its quality is a responsibility that we bear as ambassadors of God’s Love. We are told to ‘occupy’–We are to love our neighbor, to ‘set the prisoners free,’ to ‘give sight to the blind,’ to feed the hungry, to defend the environment, to share with those in need, to protect the weak, to challenge the strong, to give a cup of water to the thirsty…and to speak out against corrupt, oppressive political systems because ‘God so loved the world…’
The picture attached is of a Ukrainian pastor and his people in prayer while protesting the corruption and oppression of their government. It is exactly this kind of peaceful, sacrificial commitment to their neighbors’ welfare that should inspire the Church, everywhere.