We recently were on a trip to the northwest. We had been preparing for a few months and thinking about things we might do and places we'd like to see and take the kids to see. We were going to visit some friends, see some areas that Kim grew up in etc. Traveling is a bit of an "other" experience. We seem to get so caught up in our routine, that when we aren't doing it, everything seems all wrong. It's so uncomfortable. It's like some kind of out-of-body experience when you go on vacation. Ironically, I think we kind of like that feeling sometimes, but we are usually ready to get back to our routine after a vacation. We also know that if we stay "on vacation" there won't be any money to take any more.
The life of a Jesus follower is much like this "other" experience. As his followers we are often called to "other" ways of living out life. These ways can often be uncomfortable and uncertain. They require a reliance that is beyond our human capabilities and understanding. We live in a world that is often filled with bad news and grim circumstances. We are surrounded by hurt, pain, and violence. Yet, as followers of Jesus, we are called to be bearers of "good news." Good news is only "good" if it changes the status quo of bad news and the mundane of our every day lives. Often, the circumstances and shadows of life demand our constant attention and tend to evoke negative responses. The nature of the "good news" of Jesus is that it breaks into these shadows and shows a fresh and better way. It quietly calls us into an "other" way of living.
Are we sharing this kind of good news to our world today? Are we bearing the name of Jesus in a way that breaks the chains and the darkness in the lives of people around us? May we all begin, or continue to share a message of real and living hope in a fractured and broken world. May we go out like the seventy-two disciples in Luke 10. May we go out with nothing but reliance on Holy Spirit and the message of peace, doing the work of healing and declaring that the kingdom of God has come near.