I Hope We’re Contagious
Last week, Amanda and I had a chance to go to the American Baptist Church’s Biennial Conference in Puerto Rico. It was an excellent trip. After what my family and I had been through with the loss of my sister, it was a perfect few days away for us to rest, recover, explore, and learn. We loved our time in Puerto Rico, especially the rain forest there (it was seriously great!).
The beauty of it reminded me of how beautiful our God is – even on difficult days.
We went to a few different conference sessions that we enjoyed, one on Jesus’ habit of eating with ‘sinners’ and extending fellowship to them. You can read the Gospels and see these kind of stories again and again. Think Levi, Zacchaeus, Luke 15, and so on.
The speaker made the point that in the time of Jesus, the fear was contagious impurity (the idea that if someone who was ‘holy’ was around unclean and impure things/people, the ‘holy’ person would ‘catch’ the impurity). This contagious impurity was enough to keep ‘holy’ people as separate as they could, and kept outsiders out.
Jesus reversed all of it.
Rather than adhering to contagious impurity, Jesus practiced contagious holiness.
He wasn’t worried about other people’s sin and impurity getting on him. He was more concerned to bring his holiness, his presence, and his light to others.
The speaker made the point that Jesus models for us: we should follow Jesus by being like him in this way.
We shouldn’t be afraid of being around ‘sinners’ and ‘catching’ it. Instead, aside from the fact that we should realize that we’re sinners too (!!!), we should concern ourselves with opening our tables, firepits, and BBQs to people like Jesus would…so that maybe our ‘holiness’ will get on them.
As the speaker said and Jesus modelled, I want to invite you to practice contagious holiness this summer wherever and whenever you can.
In this way, we can continue to be a voice of hope in the world.