Matthew 5:14-16, 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Luke 7:34

Dale Eland challenges us as to whether our communities would notice if our spiritual power was removed.

Dale Eland
Dale Eland

Electricity in South Africa is a hot topic right now.

A few years ago we had rolling blackouts and had up to six hours a day load shedding, at its worst (stage 3).

This past week we had supposed stage 4 load shedding, never seen before. There wasn't even a timetable to indicate when load shedding would be, that's how unprecedented it was.

Many jokes of course found their way to social media. Political parties used the negative public opinion to their advantage, but mostly people on the street were really affected business wise, socially, academically, and in every area. We are truly very dependent on having the 'power switched on'.

It got me thinking about what would happen if suddenly your church or family were 'shut down', or 'removed' from the world. In other words, if the spiritual 'power' went 'out' in your community, would anyone notice? Would it be a catastrophic event that sets panic mode into people, or a non-event?

How much 'power' are you generating for communities? Are they 'dependant' on you, or do you actually make no impact or difference in their lives?

Sadly, many Christians can be very insular and judgemental, enclosing themselves into their worlds, and building a tower of defence instead of a tower of refuge. Love for themselves and their rights are placed above selfless love and service. Stepping into a 'dirty' world with 'dirty' people is disdainful and uncomfortable. It may mean leaving the 99 and going after the one. Sometimes a lonely journey.

How is it that when we were still 'dirty sinners' our holy, pure, spotless, and perfect God, came into an unholy, impure, imperfect, and idolatress world and sacrificed Himself for us?

As Paul says, '"I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."' (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

So much sacrifice for the hope that some would enter into a loving relationship with Him.

When did we last make a huge sacrifice for a 'dirty sinner', not knowing if they would even appreciate it? At the expense of our comfort, reputation or 'clean image'?

What a tough job we have. Jesus was known as the friend of 'dirty sinners' (Luke 7:34). So much so, that the Church leadership of the day could not accept Him as their Messiah.

He did not fit the polished, clean image that they expected and they so discredited, undermined and eventually killed the Lord of lords and King of kings.

How much of Christ's people and work are we discrediting, undermining and, yes, killing, because our mind-set has an image of what God's work should look like and, if it doesn't fit the mould, we reject it?

Our challenge as Christians is to love the unlovable, be the Good Samaritan, and be the light in a dark and dying world, getting our feet dirty, so that others may get cleaned.

May we be the ones people run to in a time of need. Be the light, keep the power switched on! CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.