February 21, 2008

The Simple Life

Note: this post has nothing to do with Paris or Nicole.

I recently watched a movie that detailed the lifestyle of the Amish, and there's a part of me that would really like to live like that. To wear simple clothes, to work hard with my hands, to live in a close community of people who truly love and serve one another--it's a tempting alternative to the ridiculous self-serving, individualistic, materialistic and consuming rat race that occupies most of my waking time. But, to me, it's not an expression of a lifestyle of following Jesus, of living out of faith.

The life of Jesus showed the desire that God has to be fully with his creation, joining us in the darkness of our personal and corporate hells. God became human to be with and for us, sharing life's broken moments together. I'm certain this happens in the Amish community. However, the Amish community has retreated from the "evils and horrors of this world."

Those who follow Jesus should not retreat from the world, but go out with radical love and hope, making and serving new friends. There is no ulterior motive of "winning souls", but building authentic relationships, for God is found in the relationship. Just as God exists in relationship, we hear His voice and follow Him together in relationship with others. We should follow in the steps of our Savior, who drank with the drunks and ate with the gluttons and hugged the lepers and AIDS victims. We have caught a glimpse of grace and mercy, of Life and Love.

This is not something we keep to ourselves.

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