“Live your lives as strangers here.”
1 Peter 1:17
Live as Strangers
Live as strangers? It sounds like pretty shoddy advice when you first read it. You mean we shouldn’t make friends? We shouldn’t care about our family? We should be apathetic about others and not get involved in our community? It can’t mean those things, because Jesus wants people to care about each other in a big way. He even wants us to love our enemies.
The idea of living our lives as strangers in this world, then, has to mean something else. And when you take a look at how Jesus and his disciples lived their lives on this earth, you pick up a pretty good sense of what this verse means. To live as strangers here means to live our lives knowing that our real home is somewhere else.
You and I forget this all the time, of course. And because we do, we get crazy with fear. We fear that if our life here does not meet our expectations and become a big success story, then our life is a failure. And you know what? For forgetting that our true home is in heaven, for living our lives for the here and now, we deserve that fear and a whole lot worse.
But Jesus’ life and death have washed us clean of those failures. And once again, he calls upon us to remember that our life here is not about making our mark. It’s about walking with him in faith. And so, live here as a stranger. For Jesus is coming soon to take you home.
Jesus, thank you for washing away all of my sins on the cross. Forgive me for the times I am fearful about this life and forget about true life in heaven. Remind me always of my heavenly home. Amen.