Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
I have often had it said to me “You don’t belong here” or “What are you doing here?”. What does this mean? I suppose it has something to do with the type of person I am versus the type of job I do. Lets face the facts, there are certain stereotypes in all occupations. In my particular industry, the stereotype is that of big muscular guys on large machines. However, a visit to my work proves otherwise. Still, my personality is such that to work warehouse is somewhat unusual. Being told I don’t belong there can be disheartening.
Today during church, I was granted an opportunity to attend a confirmation service. While such services are rather typical, something today caught my attention. The pastor spoke about how the kids being confirmed were now voting members of the church. In short, he was saying that they belong. However, he also, without saying such, also said that they don’t belong either to or in the world as we know it.
The disciple Thomas was not present when Jesus first appeared to the disciples. When Thomas was told that Jesus was risen, he refused to believe, saying that he needed proof. Jesus would later appear again to the disciples, but with Thomas present this time. Jesus made it clear to Thomas that because he believed after seeing he belonged, but so did those who would believe without seeing.
Today’s confirmands, just as has been the case for nearly two thousand years, have not directly seen Jesus, unlike Thomas and the rest of the early disciples. Yet, though they have not seen, they still believe, thus they belong unto Christ Jesus. There is nothing that can change that. It is only by their faith in Jesus, who died upon a cross and rose from the grave that they can belong and have hope in the resurrection and everlasting life.
In terms of the world, I don’t belong. Neither do those who were confirmed today. Our master and his kingdom are not of this world and neither are we. It is, and only by faith, that I belong in his kingdom and not this world. Yet, though I do not belong, I do that which I must do while I am yet here.
The same may be true of my regular job. It very well may be true that I don’t belong there. However, given that I can do the job and do it well, I fully intend to stay and do the job I must do. I suppose that it could be argued that since I can do the job, I do belong. At least for now.
We who are called forth as Christians don’t belong here, we are just sojourners. While we are here, we work to care for our families and to speak the message of God’s grace. The day will come when we will leave this world and stand before our King. If Christ Jesus is our Lord and King, we shall find ourselves living with him in Paradise. This is most certainly true. It is there we belong.