Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coming Out

Today's Christian young people are more visible and vocal about their faith than I was when I belonged to that age group.  As I look back through ancient eyes and a memory that fades now and again, I realize that God was working on my heart at a very early age.  Even before my teenage years I lived with both a consciousness of God and an awareness of a certain oughtness in my life.  By the time I reached early adolescence. I knew I wanted to live as a Christian.  And, I called myself doing it.  But, I also wanted no one to know.  With all the teenage pressure to be accepted and be "in," I decided it was in my best interest to be a Christian without anyone knowing about it.  This went on for years before I finally came to that moment of coming out.
Had I been Biblically as literate as I might have been, I would have seen a couple of folks in the scripture who went the "let's be a secret Christian" route.  One was Joseph of Arimathea about whom the Word says, "who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one..."  (John 19:38) and the other one was Nicodmus who much earlier in his life sought out Jesus under the cover of darkness.  At this point in the gospel story, both show up to tend to the tend body of Jesus.  They had their coming out at the cross.  One can only wonder it they had not from a respectable distance watched the horror on that hill.  And when it was done, neither the public eye nor keeping Jewish law took precedence over showing this act of devotion for Jesus.

When folks saw Joseph and Nicodemus doing what they did, they surely thought, "they are one of them."  Using today's vernacular, they had "outed" themselves.  It took standing before the crucified Christ on the cross to being them out in the open as disciples of Jesus. The cross has that kind of power over folks.  To come before with eyes to see who died there and for whom He died can be a life changing experience.  Some of us have stood there and we made the decision to walk with the Christ out there in the sunlight of our life.  It is the only choice which truly speaks of gratitude to the Creator God for the life and the love He has given us.  Stand now alongside Joseph, Nicodemus, and centuries of others who have made that life changing choice.

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