While I was thinking about what to write for upcoming articles in this series, I remembered an article I wrote last May. It was about ‘alien-ness.’ Speaking of the Thor character, my comment was “Others find it hard to relate to him because of this, his alien-ness. His unfamiliarity.” Thor was indeed ‘Out of Time and Out of Place.’
Thor isn’t the only alien we know. We as Christians are often forced to acknowledge that we are strangers and exiles on the earth. We don’t fit in, because we have chosen to follow The Way of Christ, to live by God’s upside-down standards, not through fear, but out of love and gratitude. BUT, by becoming strangers to the ways of the world, we are no longer alienated from that which matters the most – our relationship with Abba God! “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”
We are constantly reminded, by what we see around us, that we “were at that time separated from Christ,” and we were “strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” How awful to be without hope. But God never intended us to be hopeless or homeless. God created us and designed us so “that they should seek (him), and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.”
Doesn’t that seem a strange concept – that on the one hand, we are aliens to the world we live in, but on the other hand, we are no longer aliens in our ‘forever’ home in Christ? How amazing that ‘he is actually not far from each one of us,’ that he has chosen to get “down in the dirt and (meet) us where we are …and (call) us to come home.”
God’s people have a history of being “strangers in a strange land” (to quote Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof.) Abram was called to leave the land of Ur to journey to a new and unknown country. Joseph was a slave in Egypt. His family migrated there to survive a famine, and over time, were made slaves for 400 years. They finally return ‘home’ only to be invaded and carried away by Babylon and Assyria! A remnant returns once more, only to be overrun by Rome. When Jesus comes, and many think they will be fully restored to their earthly home, intense persecution attacks the early Christians and they flee Jerusalem. But now, instead of seeking a return to a place here on earth, followers of Christ only seek to show other how to find their true home, their place with God, so that all may have a ‘mansion in glory!’
Aliens indeed here, but aliens no longer where it truly matters.