We watched an episode of Midsomer Murders last night. One of the characters was a Christian. Usually if a Christian is portrayed in modern fiction, they are the crazy ones and some how they will be the one who murdered in Judgement of a fallen character.
in this episode They weren’t crazy. They didn’t murder anyone. They prayed for the situation, offered hospitality, read their bible. They hated sin but were compassionate towards sinners. I was relieved.
Why do fiction writers portray us so badly? Why are Christians in fiction so weird? Is it that the writers have never met a genuine Christian? We are different, we are a peculiar people but we are not peculiar in a bad way. Well we shouldn’t be. How should a Christian act? We should be peculiar in a good way.
The apostle John says this in his first letter to Christians to remind us who Jesus is, what he has done and how we are to respond to his gift of salvation.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3:16-18
Jesus loves. He loves us to death, his death. His love for us compelled him to die in our place. He is our example of love towards people who don’t deserve love. We are to care about and for others, to have concern and act on that concern.
John says more about it.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:7-21
We are a peculiar people, we have the spirit of God living in us. That alone should make us seem different. We have the Spirit at work in our lives. That should be what makes us stand out, the way we love, the way we live and the way care for each other.
Fictional characters are based on real people in the writers life. If someone based a character on me, how would I look? Am I peculiar? Yes but am I a Spirit guided person who loves self sacrificially?
How about you?
If we fail all we have left to do is confess our failures and start over, loving, being gracious, sharing life by sharing ourselves and our stuff with whoever needs it.
Accepting Jesus gift, his death that brings us life, that is the first step forward into a new life, the life of being a follower of Jesus. From that point on we are on a journey, a new adventure of change and remodeling of our our heart and our life. God is at work with the Holy Spirit changing us from the inside out. He is changing us into people that resemble his son. Changing us into people that love like his son loves, self sacrificially.