A new normal

Written by On Monday, 16 September 2013 21:47

You have heard that it was said…But I say to you…

Jesus called us to go the other way; he gave us a different kind of normal. Exhorting us to go the direction that is contrary to what we feel/think is right, contrary to what is popular, contrary to how we were raised, contrary to what is socially acceptable.

Eye for eye tooth for tooth, is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose if someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you to court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit for tat stuff. Live generously. Mathew 5:38 (The Message)

The audacity of Jesus really just gets me stumped sometimes. Who else would say such things except Jesus Christ himself? And he isn't just saying it…he is expecting me to actually do it. I smile; He has such high expectations of me, as in, he actually thinks I can do it!

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was basically his maiden speech, something close to new CEO’s speech, maybe a newly elected president or a new pastor at a church and then he goes and says the kind of things that He says in Mathew 5. It’s no wander many found him odious.

Jesus was not your ordinary Jew, his values were different, and his beliefs were different. He is calling you and me to live like him, to live a different kind of life, to go against the grain. Going against the grain is not easy. He didn't have it easy, I won’t have it easy, you won’t have it easy. But have you ever noticed that the things we acquire easily always tend to be lost really quickly as well but what we fight to get we rarely let go of that easily? Going the opposite way will cost me my so-called freedom, may cost me my family, my friends, my dreams and my ambitions. It means I lay down what I want for what the Lord wants for me. This just might be one of the toughest things I have ever done.

What gives me hope is that Jesus did it. He is not asking of us what he did not ask of himself. At Gethsemane he would have preferred to have the ‘cup’ taken away from him and yet he said ‘’ …not my will but yours be done". Because he did it, I will be able to, because he overcame, I can overcome as well. Hallelujah! The direction He is taking us is not simply different, it’s better, it deeper, it’s grander and much more fulfilling than our ordinary life.

What’s the will of God for your life today? Are you on the right track? Look around you. Do you stick out like a sore thumb? Are you comfortable being one of the guys? Think again because God is calling you to rise up and walk to the other side. Are you constantly fighting to fit in? Or are you always seemingly taking the unpopular stand? Suffering for it? Take heart, you just might be on to something.

The Father sent His Son down; the light of men.
The cross He bore was crippling…rejected in His own town, they couldn't see the Son shining.
He knelt in the garden and prayed, ‘’Father, let this cup pass from me.
It's not your will for me to stay; your will for me is the opposite way.’’
And it seemed like He was locked in a cage; and He couldn't find a way of escape
But through the cross He conquered the grave; my Jesus ran the opposite way.

Juliet Odhiambo

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