My children are third-culture kids (TCKs). They grew up as Americans in another culture and formed from the two their own little world.
At college, my son Micah was playing a new video game with friends. After he had made several bad shots, one said, “Micah, you can’t hit the broad side of a barn.” At 22 years of age, he’d never heard that phrase before and determined to remember it.
Later, when another friend did poorly on a game, he remarked, “John, you can’t hit the wide side of a barn.” After the laughter died down, Micah discovered he’d almost got it right.
Micah and his younger brother Joel study at the same university and regularly walk across campus speaking Portuguese.
They look normal, but don’t always behave like Americans.
So Joel carries a keychain which says, “In some cultures what I do is considered normal.”
Around Christmas people’s thoughts turn to “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” Many help the needy. For most, however, these are seasonal thoughts and short-lived impulses.
Such thoughts and actions, however, are considered normal for Jesus’ followers.
While many are displaying or discussing a Nativity scene, the Christian lives out every day of the year that emptying out of self that brought the Christ to this world.
While some sing or play “Away in a Manger,” God’s saints are close by the rejected, the dejected, and those ejected from the in crowd.
While many groan at buying and giving presents, the disciple enjoys sharing the greatest gift of all, given, not in a manger, but on a Cross.
While the world laughs at the church’s dumb activities and stupid message, the members of Christ’s body busy themselves more than elves on Christmas eve, for the cause of redemption, to the glory of God.
They give freely, suffer cheerfully, sing heartily in dark prisons. They pore over sacred pages, sweat drops of fervent prayer, look heavenward to hurry the return of their Lord.
The world shakes its head in disapproval at such behavior.
In another Kingdom, what they do is considered normal.
Because their King came and did the same.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, because he has come to help and has redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68 NET).
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