Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. (John 17:13-15)
Read: Matthew 27:57 – 28:15, Mark 15:42 – 16:13, Luke 23:50 – 24:12, John 19:38 – 20:18
Relate: Have you ever been on the outside looking in? Have you ever not been a part of a clique or a group that you desperately wanted to join? Did you ever feel as though you were overlooked when all the social circles were formed? There’s no way to really describe just how this feels to someone who has not experienced it.
When I think about not belonging, immediately my mind goes back to seventh grade. Junior high can be a viciously brutal time to begin with. For me that year was compounded with the knowledge that I would be moving soon to a different city. I was not allowed to share that information with anyone. A part of me had already checked out long before the move that happened nearly a year after I first was told it was coming. I “pretended” I did not care about anyone else and as a result they seemed to care less and less about me as time went on. Things got so bad, I was the kid the other outcast “nerds” would pick on. By the time our family actually did move, I was desperate to put that life behind me. I hated what life had become and promised myself that I would never again find myself in such a situation as a social outcast.
React: The truth is, we don’t belong here. This earth… it isn’t our home anymore and one day we will be “moving”. This world and its earthly cares have no place for us anymore. The things that matter to our neighbors, they are nothing. We no longer fit in. At least… we shouldn’t. If the world loves and accepts us, then we should question whether we are doing this following Jesus thing right. After all, it hated Him. It mocked, tormented and crucified Him and we are supposed to be carrying our cross walking right behind Him. Are we? Am I? It may not be fun finding myself belonging less and less to this world as time gets closer and closer to that move. In the end it will most definitely be worth it. I’ve long since moved beyond the torments of junior high. I’ve sat down and talked about and laughed with more than a few of those people I was so desperate to escape from at the time. A greater destination, a brighter hope has brought us back together. We are waiting for that great moving day. We belong to that same community that has no business longing for belonging here on earth.
Maranatha. God, I long for the day when I will be taken out of this world. Be it death or rapture, one day I will find my way home just as You have gone ahead to prepare my place. Until that time, help me to avoid the trap of longing for the temporary here on earth. Help me to cast my vision upward. I don’t belong here just as You didn’t belong here. Help me not to compromise my integrity in a stupid attempt to fit in where I don’t belong. Make me holy. Keep me separate until the day I finally can go home.