Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

6-30.jpgI love the scene in the movie version of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when Lucy encounters the faun, Mr. Tumnus, he curiously asks, “What do you do with it?”

“You shake it,” Lucy replies, to which the faun exclaims, “Why?!”

In today’s global society these kinds of awkward moments are not so uncommon. When we bump into people whose customs, greetings, and language are unlike ours, we experience a flash of culture shock. Once while on a trip to West Africa, in spite of feeling welcomed and befriended by the warmth of the people there, my wife and I were keenly aware that we were different. We did not fit in and found ourselves longing for the familiarity of home.

Which makes me wonder… If we are “new creation” people – citizen of heaven whose real home is yet to come – why do we so often feel at home in this old world order? Why are our lives still in the grip of our fallen culture? Why are we so likely to lean toward greed and self-centeredness? Why does pride easily set up residence in our heart while Christ’s humility seems so foreign? It seems to me that we should feel a little more spiritual culture shock when we rub shoulders with the world!

The cultures of the heavenly and earthly kingdoms are mutually exclusive – totally incompatible. The apostle John states it bluntly: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). And yet it is surprising how vulnerable we are to the lure of this fallen world system.

Jesus gave His life to redesign us from inside out as His new creations. If we would get a handle on this reality, every time someone would walk from the dark, doomed, world, into our homes or our churches, they would get a refreshing glimpse of heaven. They would experience a taste of the new kingdom and the new creation – the presence of Jesus Himself – in our lives.

Go ahead – surprise someone with a taste of heavenly culture shock!
-Joe Stowell-

Responding – Do I resemble more of the heavenly kingdom or the earthly one?
Following – Don’t get too comfortable… this world is not your home!

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