So it has been growing upon me recently how the Lord seems to be dragging me more and more into the public square. I have always had a certain level of comfort in personal virtue. I am not talking about hidden virtue, but virtue that could be on display without provoking much discussion or debate. However, virtue that flows from Christ (which all true virtue does) cannot remain private and individual. If He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15) then we had better be ready to be spread out in unexpected places. There are no plastic greenhouses or tidy little herb gardens in God’s Kingdom.
One of the undeniable qualities of vines is that they are not easily contained. They like to cover everything around them. They are not satisfied until they have grown as high and as wide as possible. Christianity, like vines, doesn’t do very well staying inside neat and well-defined boundaries. Christianity is not one small plot in the community garden of religious plurality. To be a Christian in this world is to be a branch connected to the vine of Christ. You are either alive and growing or dead and ready to be cut off. Abiding in Christ means growth. And growth means contact with the things around us.
Recently, the Lord used financial needs to lead me to an unexpected type of work (much thanks to Cantina Laredo for taking a chance on me) that has brought me into some much needed contact with the world. This is the world for whom Jesus died. This is the world from which I have been rescued. And this is the world to which I have been sent as a witness to the risen and reigning Lord. How do I allow the Lord to grow me there in a way that makes a very fruitful mess? Am I living the gospel in such a way that those around me are being invaded with a truth they cannot deny and a beauty they cannot ignore? If you want cozy and comfortable, get a house plant. If you want to change the world, become a part of the unstoppable Vine.