Be the Outsider

Matthew 3:1-12

Society doesn’t take very kindly to outsiders. Society would like you to conform to whatever it is that a particular society wants you to be – what it deems good and right. This is very dangerous, not only to the body but to the spirit and especially the soul.

Recently the foul and evil dictator Fidel Castro (darling of the American Left) died. I am sure (short of some miraculous conversation) he will roast in Hell. May God forgive me, but I have to say, “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.” He and his ilk were/are all about making people conform and they went/will go to the most drastic and draconian measures to do so. Why? Because systems opposed to God and His will do whatever they can to remain in power. In essence the state becomes God and all must bow down before it.

Outsiders are important. Many of our great churchmen could be called outsiders: Martin Luther would rather conform to the Word of God rather than the concoctions of Rome, Dietrich Bonhoeffer chose to conform to Word of God rather than the religion of Nazism. Both men proclaimed greater truths than those being proclaimed by those who defined society for the masses. Notice that both of these men and other were not anarchists, iconoclasts or ideological non-conformists. The chose to conform to the greater thing.

John the Baptist was an outsider, figuratively and literally; in his dress, his habitation and his proclamation of God’s Word. John chose to conform to the Word of God  and proclaim the coming messiah rather than conforming to the society and its dominant religious view.

In a world that is increasingly becoming homogenized, pre-packaged and auto-tuned; in a world that presses people to conform to its vapid and vacuous humanism be the outsider. As Saint Paul says in Romans 12:2, “ Do not be conformed to this world,  but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect”

O God, by the power of your Holy Spirit, strengthen me to put off the things of this world and take upon myself those things you would have me do and desire. In the world that rejects you help me to be the outsider who proclaims you boldly. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.