I grew up in a breed of Christianity that sought to be a light, but hid from the darkness.
Though it would never be said, deep down there was concern that the dark might extinguish our glow—or, at the very least, cause it to be misunderstood.
So we lived with a sterile faith.
Prosperity was named and claimed, words of life were spoken (#blessed), and this little light of ours shone brightly within the walls of our sacred safe places.
We claimed the American Dream as our Christian right.
And somewhere along the way, we lost sight of the picture that's actually painted for us in the Gospels. Within those pages, I don't see a sterile faith, holed up to avoid contamination.
I see pursuit.
I see Jesus preferring to spend time with prostitutes, thieves, and those who make a living screwing over their own brothers. I see Him seeking out those who live in the shadows, those the faith leaders of His day shunned completely.
Jesus called us to a faith that is anything but sterile, for an antiseptic faith is powerless.
The faith we're beckoned to is not concerned about preserving its image or "avoiding the appearance of evil." Instead, it walks down the back alleys; it steps into the slums; it pulls up a stool in the pubs; it sits in the brothels; it finds and frees the shackled.
Faith goes to the dark places.
It pursues the darkest corners of the night and the deepest depths of depravity.
It never fears that the dark will snuff it out. Faith knows that no amount of darkness can dampen its illumination, so long as it shines.
But even the smallest flame can shatter the blackest night.
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