Why Jesus might not be welcome in my town

I have pondered a thought for days.

Have I made this dwelling on earth too much of a home?

So comfy and cozy I have lost sight of heaven.

Mailbox by cindy47452 via Flickr

Mailbox peak by laffertyryan via Flickr

In our small, Texas town, a petition is being passed among the people.  A proposal to do what’s best for our city.

Apparently, a growing number of citizens are aiming for a safe environment and to keep property values what they should be.   This sounds noble enough.

Until I noticed the efforts to preserve our town and keep our city desirable entail discriminating against the poor.

A housing developer is aiming to create an apartment complex for low-income families.  And this has caused a stir in our affluent city.

There are many in our town who would deny their status of affluence.  A quick browse of the internet would show otherwise.  Statistics indicate, when comparing countries,  the poorest 5% of Americans are among the richest people in the world (richer than nearly 70% of other people in the world).

I have chewed on that for some time.  If that statistic is correct, the “low-income” of our country are wealthy.

The poorest five percent of Americans are richer than nearly seventy percent of others in the world.

And so even some who gather in churches, associating themselves with Christ, are complaining over wealthy people moving into our town.

Mailboxes, etc. by Wavy1 via Flickr

Rural mailbox by Matt McGee

We have staked claim to the land.

And we have made an assumption.  The less wealthy are the untouchables.  Unwelcome in our town.  They carry with them undesirable shortcomings, making our homes unprotected.  Causing our property values to fall.

We have rights.

And we forget. 

We forget Jesus who loved without prejudice.

All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to Him.  And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!”  (Luke 15:1-2)

For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.  (Matthew 21:32 NLT)

We have forgotten the grace and mercy shown to us and made available for everyone.

But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets—that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.  (Romans 3:21-22 HCSB)

Forgetting our mission.

…in light of this idea of being “missional,” we can best sum it up with the words of the apostle Paul: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God . . . and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17).  (GotQuestions.org)

Forgetting our citizenship.

These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance,greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. But they now desire a better place—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13, 16 HCSB)

Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and temporary residents to abstain from fleshly desires that war against you. (1 Peter 2:11)

Forgetting our lives are not our own.

Commitment to Christ means taking up your cross daily, giving up your hopes, dreams, possessions, even your very life if need be for the cause of Christ. Only if you willingly take up your cross may you be called His disciple (Luke 14:27). The reward is worth the price. Jesus followed His call of death to self (“Take up your cross and follow Me”) with the gift of life in Christ: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25-26).  (GotQuestions.org)

Mailbox by mrjoro via Flickr

And now I wonder.

Would Jesus make the grade?  Pass the test.  Meet our standards.

Would Jesus be welcome, even by His followers, in this town?

{Information and opinions about the petition were taken from the Oppose Acadiana Facebook profile}

You might also enjoy:

About Cristal

Living life fully as the wife of one, a mother of two and follower of The One.
This entry was posted in Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Why Jesus might not be welcome in my town

  1. Katie says:

    This is a poignant question for us all beginning with our home, our family, our church, our town, our community….our lives. Thanks!

  2. Cristal says:

    I agree, Katie. It has caused me to seriously search my heart and judge my motives. I too often make decisions based on what I presume are my “rights”. Ouch.

  3. Great post! I’ve been studying the four gospels lately – – reading just today how he was judged for “eating with sinners” and unwelcome in his own home town.

    • Cristal says:

      Through this situation in our town, I was able to step back and ask myself, “If I saw someone doing what Jesus did, would I judge him?” Because Jesus did associate with the sinners and the outcasts. I am too quick to judge. 😦

  4. Pingback: Emerge Notes… « A Robin Hood's Musing

  5. dschondog says:

    Wow, Cristal, you knocked this one out of the park! You brought my Belize post to our hometowns. This was so very convicting. And you know what? I don’t think I need new living room furniture anymore. My friend HopeAllyson needs support to go to Zimbabwe, Susan’s daughter needs support for her orphanage, people in my town need medications and they have no money for them. I will steam clean my couch.

    Thank you, Cristal,
    Dawn

    PS really, thank you

    • Cristal says:

      Settle down, Dawn! We didn’t need you getting all “real” about living like Jesus. It was just a thought to chew on. 😉

      On a serious note, you really did read into this one in a way I’d not ventured to examine. And I am thankful for the extra conviction. Goodness. More heart inspection needed here now. Thank you, as always, for visiting and encouraging.

      Still praying for you (in my journal!).

      Have a peaceful weekend,
      Cristal

  6. Just from the title alone I knew that this would be a good read! The idea of being accepted/rejected by the world has been on my heart recently, hence my latest articles about friends. It was a great shock to me when I noticed that I was being rejected by the world but I then remembered that Jesus was rejected by the world and we know that the servant is never better than the Master. I know Jesus wouldn’t be welcome in the town that I live in or go to school in but with knowing that, I pray that they don’t accept me either. Although it may hurt and stir up negative emotions in the flesh, it is in an honor to follow the footsteps of Christ, so that we can reach our higher calling in our Saviour. We must always be sure that we aren’t gaining the world and losing our soul. Even if our town rejects Him, we always have the option of welcoming Him in our hearts. 🙂 Great post!

    • Cristal says:

      I read your comment this morning but knew I needed to absorb this truth for a while before responding.

      What’s caught my attention, by your words, is that I am too often concerned about fitting in and having friends in this world. Being agreeable isn’t always Christlike. After reading your comment, I asked my husband, “If Jesus was rejected by so many, should we be so accepted?”

      Even before writing this post about the petition in our town, I paused when I thought about it possibly hurting someone’s feelings. Yet, I knew what I felt God was speaking to me about rejecting the poor. Nevertheless, the inner struggle to please man in spite of a call to follow Christ was evident.

      And, I’m ashamed. Thank you for your insight. And the challenge to fear God not man. 🙂

  7. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
    “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ — Matthew 25:33-40

    • Cristal says:

      But, Randy, “surely He didn’t mean what He just said.” {If you weren’t gathered with us for worship to hear the sermon yesterday morning, that might not make sense :)}

      When BK began hammering this point home in his sermon (our responsibility for caring for everyone – even the outcasts), I cried. This is so close to my heart. And that’s why this petition has brought me such sadness. 😦

      Glad you stopped by,
      Cristal

  8. Pingback: Sharing Sunday: Flesh eaters and blood drinkers | Refusing to Tiptoe

  9. Desiray says:

    This is truly a good post because this really is happening every day in many communities and as I was reading this I thought what Jesus said, Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”

    • Cristal says:

      I had not thought of that Scripture in relation to this; but you’re right. I think we imagine a picture of Jesus that closely resembles us. Yet, if we are ALL thinking He is like each of us, then a lot of us are wrong! 🙂

      I’m glad you stopped by today!

      Cristal

  10. Great post and such an important reminder to people living in a world we constantly feel “justified” in marginalizing the poor.

    • Cristal says:

      You’ve brought up a great point. And I question myself, “By what standards am I judging myself?” Have I lowered the bar in order to “justify” my motives and actions? Yikes!

  11. snowgood says:

    Some people need to get out more, see the world as it really is. Last year I went to part of Russia. I was shocked at how primitive things were in what is alleged to one of the most important cities, but by global standards they are wealthy.
    On other trips to the Ukraine I have been in an orphanage with one broken toilet to 260 people!
    Just down the road we went into a block of flats with no sanitation, no front door or windows on some floors and it gets down to -40 centigrade in winter (but the people were friendly and cheerful).
    Jesus may not be welcome in your town, or indeed in many a church!

    • Cristal says:

      I agree! I have met some amazing people on trips to places where many in this world would refuse to live due to the living conditions. They have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Their attitudes are that of thankfulness and gratitude. They are not looking for nor even expecting hand-outs. In fact, many are givers and are seeking ways to live their lives for others.

      Thank you for stopping by,
      Cristal

  12. Lee Ellzey says:

    While on staff at a church, I brought a homeless man into the evening services with me and my wife. He sat near the front with us. I introduced him to people as my new friend. After the service and the next day, it was obvious how uncomfortable others where with my actions. I have wondered if Jesus would have been received the same way in that church. (By the way, I left that group soon after!)

    • Cristal says:

      I wonder, Lee, if we’d even recognize Jesus should He walk into our church (besides the fact many of us expect Him to look like us). Thank you for sharing your story (and for dropping by!)

Your comments are treasured

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s