Last night, our family watched a movie together at home, as we ate our grilled cheese BLT sandwiches. Brian remembers having watched this particular movie at a drive-in theater with our children (there were only two of them at that time). Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and it was fun watching it together.
As usual, we had a little discussion about some scenes in the movie. Several times throughout the film, the main character was treated cruelly by others, especially his peers. He was teased for his looks and intelligence, and told "You don't belong here." Sadly, I know that I have been told that at least once in my life. Even worse, I have probably said that to someone else. Lately, our own kids and their friends have been having a few squabbles that have resulted in someone getting excluded. We try to let the kids work things out among themselves, but sometimes the adults must step in. As much fun as this particular movie is, it also gave us the opportunity to talk about how we should treat others who may be "different".
Jesus of Nazareth is one such person who was told he did not belong. The Pharisees did not like how and what He was teaching. He was teaching the words of the prophets, but spending time with the outsiders- lepers, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. Jesus was accused of blasphemy and healing on the Sabbath by the Pharisees. He was accused of inciting riots. Yet He continued his ministry, even to the cross, and after his resurrection. Jesus continues to be in His followers lives. If you read any of the Bible, you will find many people who were not accepted by the rest of society.
Choosing to follow Jesus every day can mean choosing to go against what the rest of society is doing or saying. Making "good choices" could mean getting left out of doing things with others. Who must we ultimately obey, though? What society tells us, or what God tells us?
"Why do you get up so early? Don't you like to sleep?"
"It's quiet in the house then. I read my bible."
"Why would you do that/"
"Because I want to know what God says. I want to know God."
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (English Standard Version)