"Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." 1 Peter 2:11-12 (NASB)
Many of the movies we watch about aliens today portray them in an unfavorable light. They come to this planet, set up occupations all over the globe and then synchronize an all-out attack on earth - sound familiar? I believe we portray aliens as the "bad guys" most of the time because we are merely projecting human attributes onto them. That's what humans like have done since the beginning of time - attempted global conquest.
Unlike the aliens our movies portray, Jesus followers are not called to global conquest. Instead as "aliens and strangers" we are called to the conquest of the human heart. We are God's representatives. And as God's people, we are invited to set up occupations (churches - sharing Jesus life wherever we are); not by force, but with the love of Jesus. We do this with the Bible as our guide and the Holy Spirit as our strength.
The world often doesn't know how to handle this unusual kindness, grace, and forgiveness. It is foreign to them as it once was to us. But when we experienced it through a believing parent, relative, stranger or friend, we were touched. We felt something strange happen to our hearts. We felt unconditional love and acceptance. It caused us to question, who this Jesus was they followed. In the end, it directed us to recognize our need for a savior from our sins, and to realize that the savior was Jesus.
We are called to live lives that radiate the kindness, patience, and selflessness of Jesus. We do this by helping when no one else will, fighting for the outcast when everyone else would rather turn away, and reaching out to the broken while others ignore the pieces on the ground. Running into the pain of other's lives was how Jesus lived His while on this earth, and this is the kind of life He invites us to join Him in.
Meeting people in their pain is challenging and may appear unusual (alien), but when we see it and experience it, it is beautiful and points us and others to the truly Beautiful One. Let us live like Jesus, as aliens, strangers and beautiful in this dark and messy world.
Lord Jesus, help me to remember that this is not my home and that I am an alien and a stranger here living as your representative. Give me the strength to shine your life and the bravery and compassion to reach out to the hurting I encounter around me. I pray that they will see You in me and come to know You as their Savior and friend. Amen