September 19, 2016

When Worlds Collide

Philippians 4:21-23

All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.

—  Philippians 4:22

Ron, a successful businessman, never invited any of his other friends to our church. I’m pretty sure we would have embarrassed him. Of all of us, Ron was the most sophisticated. But he loved being at Andy’s house and getting his face sticky with chicken wings. And he connected well with other church friends. But maybe his high-class friends in the business world would not have understood. Maybe Ron just didn’t know how to stretch his faith across two different worlds.

That kind of tension is normal for a Christian. In the early church too, social worlds collided. In today’s verses, we see that Christ called people from different levels of wealth and freedom into the church. Though we can’t be certain, the Christians in Caesar’s household were likely more rich and influential, or at least had better living conditions, than many other Christians in those days.

As a Christian, you have to navigate the various social networks of your life. That can be difficult and challenging. Our friend Andy’s wife, for example, would never come to church with him, and over time we learned that his faith was just one more thing she despised about him.

I know that Ron carried his faith with him to work. He just lived it differently with us than he did with his other people. That’s normal. It takes time to figure it all out.

I know I need to share my faith, Lord. Please go ahead of me, show me opportunities, and give me words to say. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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