*We interrupt our regularly scheduled (...ish) posts, to bring you a special Hurricane Edition.
This entry was written last week during Hurricane Irene.*
Be homeless - Follow wholeheartedly
As I'm writing this post, for two different reasons, the title has taken on a new meaning for me. Today, 25th August 2011, most (if not all) of the Bahamian population is boarded up in their homes waiting out the category 3 Hurricane Irene. As we are beginning to get reports from the southern-most islands, we are learning that some settlements have been up to 90% destroyed, and there are some islands we've heard nothing from at all. Fortunately (up to the time of publishing), there has been no reported loss of life in The Bahamas.
Up until yesterday, 24th August 2011, I was technically homeless upon my return to England. My friends and I, have been waiting with baited breath for several weeks to hear whether or not we were going to get the house, or would have to keep looking. For a contract beginning September 1st, this was cutting it fairly close, and it didn't help that we're currently scattered around the globe. My degree was in jepoardy; with nowhere to stay, British passport or not, I could be refused entry into the United Kingdom.
And? We live in a pretty self-centred world. How do those situations affect you? I couldn't possibly be telling you to be homeless simply because I was right? They say misery loves company, but that would be taking it to an extreme. Well what if it wasn't M-J telling you to be homeless, but Jesus? Would it make a difference?
The main verse we're looking at today is Luke 9:58. It's Jesus' response to a man that said he would follow Him wherever He went; He said "Foxes haves holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Ok, to be fair, Jesus wasn't exactly saying 'Be homeless,' but rather warning that it was a very possible consequence of following Him. What I notice however, is that He didn't ask of people something He wasn't willing to do Himself. He told the man that He, the Son of Man, had nowhere to stay. Know this, when you say you're a Christian, people watch what you do. Jesus said He was the Son of God, so everyone watched (and many criticized) what He did. Jesus lived a life of example. He told us to love, then showed us how.
Luke 9:57-62 is about the cost of following Christ. The main point being made in this passage is that living as a follower of Christ requires a wholehearted commitment. You have to be ready to give up everything, drop your old life, and take on a new life in Christ. Again, Jesus set the ultimate example in that He gave up everything - Heaven and perfection - to take on the sins of the world, to take on my sins.
In today's world it seems as though people have 'glamourized' Jesus' life. People talk about the highlights -water to wine, walking on water, raising people from the dead, being the Saviour of the world, rising from the dead Himself - but what people seem to skirt over are some of the details. Those last three years of His life when He was doing all those amazing works, Jesus was homeless. He had a God-given purpose, and to realize that purpose He had to put behind Him His old life, that of a carpenter, and take on His new role as Son of Man.
Nowadays we don't have Jesus the man to actually physically follow around, so maybe you don't need to be homeless to follow Him, unless of course you've been called to a life of poverty or missions work ;), but it's the mindset you have that's important.
At some point during my final two years of high school, I created a major called 'International Bumology,' and began telling people that that's what I was going to study at university. It was basically studying the world's homeless, and the different factors that contributed to their current status. There was even a knesthetic learning aspect where you would live the life of a homeless person for a time. It is only now, seven years after, I am realizing, how true that may turn out to be living life as a follower of Christ.
Now again, I'm not I saying that to live a Christian life you have to become a vagabond. What I am saying, is that it is not a life of material possesions and narcissism, but one of heavenly wealth and servitude.
So yes, maybe I am kind of telling you to be homeless, but homeless here on Earth. Store up your treasure somewhere with a better insurance policy. Matthew 6:19-21 Look, I don't know about you, but I have a mansion waiting for me. John 14:1-4 You may want to get on that. ;)
P.S. "The closer we get to September, the more awesome the miracle of us getting a house will be. " That's what I said in an email to one of my (now) housemates, while we were still unsure of what was going on with the house. There's a song we sing during Praise and Worship at my church in The Bahamas, 'He's a Miracle Working God.' That's so true. We found out last week, with 7 days until the beginning of September that we got the house. God is good. :)