Last night I left off with the question, “So what in the world are you doing?” There are a lot of ways I could answer that question. However, yesterday morning I was reading Brian McLaren’s newest book, The Story We Find Ourselves In. It’s a sequel to A New Kind of Christian. In one of the chapters, the main character Neo discusses God’s call to Abraham to journey to a new land in Genesis 12:1-4.
Neo gives this interpretation:
“Leave your people. Leave your identification and status as a member of a certain known people. Now, step out into the unknown, from a certified somebody who is a member of a people and step into a journey where you don’t know who you are anymore. As you do this, I will give you a great new identity: you will become a new kind of people in the world; you will have a new identity. And that new identity — as a people blessed by the one true and living God — will bring blessing to all the other peoples.”
Blessed by God to bless all peoples.
Arriving as the true Israelite, Jesus takes the promise given to Abraham and Israel to the ultimate level. Then he hands the baton to his followers, to us, and says, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).
As Jesus’ follower, I want to be a “blessed-to-be-a-blessing” kind of person. I want to be a member of God’s resistance movement against evil. I want to be a cooperative friend of Jesus living a constant life of creative goodness.
Therefore, I know I (and any others who choose to join us) must step out into the unknown and into a journey where I don’t know who I am anymore. As we journey together, God will give us a new identity as we become a new kind of people on the earth, recreated to bless all peoples on God’s behalf.
God has blessed us and it’s our privilege and responsibility to bless all peoples — to bless them with the wonderful life of God as embodied in Jesus, to bless them with the ageless story of God that makes sense and significance of their lives, to bless them with a new way of being human, to bless them with the hope of redemption and harmony with God, each other and creation.
So what in the world am I doing? I’m hoping to somehow live Paul’s commandment in a way I’ve never done before, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). I’m hoping to participate in a community of Christ-followers that takes Jesus’ call to be his apprentices seriously. I’m hoping that together we journey from the image of God to the fullness of God in order to continue Jesus’ incarnation on earth and to bless everyone we encounter.