No, I’m not talking about strange green creatures from Mars or any other kind of extra terrestrials, no crazy UFO sightings or crop circles….
I’m talking about us. Christians.
We are aliens in this world.
Today, we don’t use the world alien to mean a foreigner as much as we used to. Technically that’s what it means, but now (at least in my mind) it always conjures up images of space travel and oddly colored creatures from space who either want to help save our world or annihilate it and make us their slaves.
But the word is used in the Bible to describe Christians, to show that this world is not our home. We’re foreigners… travelers just passing through.
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)
When I was in Haiti in January, it was pretty obvious that we were foreigners. We stood out like a giraffe at the North Pole. So much so, in fact, that whenever we passed through a village on our six hour drive across Haiti (from Port-au-Prince to the camp up near Limbe) the kids raced alongside shouting “Blan blan blan” (white).
It was very obvious that we were foreigners in Haiti.
In the same way, we, as Christians, should be visibly different from the world – not because of some holier-than-thou attitude, or because we won’t consort with people like “that,” but simply because we are. We’re different because we no longer belong.
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live now as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8)
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
“You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” (I Thessalonians 5:5)
We are supposed to be as different from the world as the day is from the night. And being different is not always easy. It often means that we will be ridiculed, mocked, despised, and even hated for that difference.
But this world is not our home.
We’re “just passin’ through.” And the world will try to seduce us from our purpose. It will try to dazzle us with pleasures or entangle us with cares and worries. But a part of being different from the world is having a different mindset – a Kingdom focus.
We must remember that we are strangers in this world. We are soldiers in enemy territory. We have been rescued from darkness and brought into the Kingdom of light. We shine like stars reflecting the light of Christ into a world blinded by darkness. So the world will hate us because the light reveals what the darkness tries to hide.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19)
But though the world will hate us, we are called to love:
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5:44-45a)
~ A Servant of the King