Friday, December 5, 2008

The Disenfrancished at Advent

I've been thinking a lot lately about writing some material on life as an older single in Christendom.

Last Sunday, the first day of Advent, I heard a sermon preached by my very good old friend Bill C. called "Christmas: Her side of the story." He preached from Matthew 1 on Jesus's lineage, and one of his key points dealt with Rahab in Jesus's lineage. Rahab risked her life and gave up her entire culture, worldview, friends, and security to help God's people and to be a part of their community.

Yet, Rahab was never allowed to become a full-fledged member of their covenant community. This part of her story seems painfully similar to mine. Sometimes, I feel like this is my lot too. At times it can seem like no matter how hard I try, I'll never have the same depth of ties to all the "covenent stuff" that the families in our church have.

The Good News is that as I joyfully try to find ways to serve in the body of Christ, by Faith, I know that I have my (we have our) only true hope in Christ, which is in a sense deferred until His return. However, just like Rahab had no idea that the lineage of the Messiah would come thru her offspring, we have no idea what the eternal impact of lives will be. We are called to trust God on this and that is in large part with faith for me is.

But I still wonder how often she felt the pain and sorrow and darkness of being a perpetual outsider? Did it ever make her think that she made a bad deal? Did she ever wonder whether God was too harsh and demanding? Did she ever feel tempted to return to what was comfortable and familiar? What kept her faith from sinking into the abyss? How did she avoid slipping off into oblivion?

I also wonder how many other people in our churches sometimes feel like they are any less than full covenant member in their churches, while being aliens and pilgrims in the world? I know that it sure can get pretty desolate out here every once in a while.

Here's the amazing truth of the New Covenant -- WE ARE ALL FULL COVENANT MEMBERS IN CHRIST - Jew/Gentile, Free/Slave, Man/Woman, Married/Single. Christ came to reconcile us - to repair our "disenfranchisement" from Him and His people. Let us not believe otherwise!!! And let us encourage each other with this truth!

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