Live your lives as strangers here.
1 Peter 1:17
There’s an old theme that runs through a lot of storytelling. The theme is that of the stranger who enters people’s lives, touches their lives, and then moves on. Think of the classic western, Shane, where Shane enters the lives of a farming family, defeats the bad guys on the family’s behalf, and then rides away. Think of the old TV series, The Fugitive, where Dr. Richard Kimble, a wrongly-accused but innocent man, comes across someone in need, helps that person, then departs. You can even see science fiction with this theme. Think of that the next time you watch ET: The Extraterrestrial.
It should probably come as no surprise to us that a lot of ageless themes like this are ageless because they echo themes from the greatest story of all—a story that happens to be true. Jesus Christ came into our world and lived among us. As he did, however, he did not get caught up in the temporary distractions of this world. Instead, he kept his eyes fixed on why he was here. He was here to rescue us from the curse of our sin, then go home to prepare a place for us. This he did when he lived a life of perfect love on our behalf. When he suffered and died for our every sin. When he rose from death, and his visible presence ascended into heaven.
And now here we are, fully forgiven through faith in Jesus. Knowing that, through faith in Christ, heaven is our home. With all this in mind, the apostle Peter tells us, “Live your lives as strangers here.” When we live our lives as strangers in this tired, old world, we remember that everything here is temporary and is passing away. When we live our lives as strangers here, we are then free to give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord. And when we live our lives as strangers here, we know that the best is yet to come.
Lord Jesus, here I am only passing through. Help me to remember this. Amen.