Jesus grew up in the Roman Empire.
You don’t find a culture much more decadent and brutal than that one.
Yet during his time on earth, Jesus didn’t really address that.
He could have railed against the political and social ills of his day: authoritarian government, mass executions, public p*rnography, unwanted infants exposed to the elements to die.
He could have moved his followers to overthrow an unjust government.
He could have taught families how to bunker down and avoid Roman soldiers, sexual sinners, and all the forms of debauchery common in Roman culture.
He could have incited riots or staged peaceful protests if he wanted to.
But he didn’t.
His focus was on people.
The woman caught in adultery. The five-times-married Samaritan woman at the well. Zaccheus the unscrupulous tax collector. The prostitute who washed his feet with her tears. The sick. The grieving. The hungry. The people whose lives were the fruit of a rotten culture, a culture disfigured by sin. The people in our culture that most of us avoid.
Jesus lived in the world but was not of it.
Too often, I think, we don’t want to be of the world but we don’t want to be in it either.
We withdraw to a sort of self-made, sanitized utopia under the guise of protecting our children or keeping ourselves pure, when really we just don’t want to soil our hands with people who disgust us. We don’t want to face the work it would take to love without judgment and to extend mercy and assistance as the hands and feet of a providing, healing Christ.
Perhaps the greatest antidote to fearing our culture is to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Love God. Love people.
This post of part of 31 Days of Fearless Mothering
Look for my eBook, Fearless Mothering, in November!