Living on the edge? While we like to talk about how exciting it is to live on the edge, most of us don’t really like it there. We like things to be secure, comfortable and predictable. So long as we have a safety net of our own creation we can dabble in edgy things without feeling the risk of falling. It’s great! Do something edgy, snap the right photo, post it on social media and everyone thinks you’re “living on the edge.” Congratulations.
Jesus calls us to live on the edge, but it’s not glamorous. It’s not secure, comfortable or predictable either. Jesus calls us to live on the edge on a mission to those on the edge with the truth that has the edge. Let me explain.
Life on the Edge
When Jesus taught us to pray, he wanted us to say, “give us this day our daily bread.” Daily bread is life on the edge. Praying for daily bread helps us realize that every bite we eat is a gift we are not entitled to. Every breath we take is not a guarantee. Every night in a bed or the roof over our heads could vanish in an instant. We tend to fight against such insecurities by building up our resources, like a wall that secures us against the fear of that edge. It’s no use. The more we store up for ourselves, the less there is for others. Anyway, God wants us on the edge. He made us to be on the edge, because the closer we are to that edge, the more we trust in him. The more we trust in him, the more he can use our entire selves for his good purposes.
A Mission to those on the Edges
Jesus’ ministry focused on the people who were forgotten, disenfranchised, impaired and even outright sinful. He loved them even when they were unlovable. He joined them in their filth and risked cross-contamination. He loved them into repentance and eventually died to give them forgiveness. We are those unlovable people. We are the proud, self-absorbed gluttonous people on the edge who have been saved by Jesus. Now, he calls us to follow him to the edges, to take up our crosses and lose our comfort for his sake… for their sake. He calls us to love the unlovable, risk cross-contamination and allow Jesus to shine through us.
A Truth with the Edge
There is right and there is wrong. Edgy, isn’t it? God made the world to be perfectly functional in a particular way. It is the way of selfless interdependency and it is beautiful. We love that beauty and we want everyone to have it. In our crazy selfish world the only place we find that beauty is in Jesus. He wanted us to have that beauty so much he took our sins upon himself and endured the ugliness of death. He then defeated death by rising again to show us what the beauty looks like. Through all this we have the gift of forgiveness. God looks upon us and sees the beauty again. We also have a new life today, a life seeking the beauty in the midst of the mess. It’s edgy… Because it’s true.
So, it’s a mission on the edge. As people given this amazing gift, we rely on God for everything and resist storing up our treasures here. We seek those who hurt and love them like Jesus. We even take the risk to speak the truth in love. No safety nets here… just the vision of beauty, a heart of compassion and the promise of eternal life. Gotta love it on the edge!