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Three Worlds on One Road


I was struck by the uncanny way my day unfolded today as the world I live in brushed up against two other, very alien, worlds.


I have been preaching on the call to Holiness recently and use the term “Chrexit” in referring to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 6:17 where he tells us to “come out from among them.” It is a challenge to live in the world and yet be separate from it.


So here was I, with Sandy, enjoying the special beauty of the Finger Lakes region from inside our 2008 Ford Focus. I was on a quest to visit an inmate, in one of our State Correctional Facilities, who is asking to be baptized. If you have visited in a prison then you know what a different world it is. And it is not just the inmates who live a life separated from the world; I know the staff don’t want to see repeat offenders but they seem to seek to eliminate repeat visitors, too.


I have no problem being separate from that world, and yet I know that I cannot turn my back on it. Before I turned off the highway on to the approach to the prison we encountered yet another very different world, virtually on the prison doorstep. Amish and Mennonite farms are all over that region and we were spellbound watching a young lad manage a team of seven horses as he planted seed and an older man baling hay with two horses. This is a world that I could easily be drawn to but they live a life separate from my world.


It gives me much to ponder. I am a prisoner of Christ but He does not lock me up or exile me; He sends me into the world. I plant seed for the LORD but He would not have me plant only in my own familiar soil; He would have me scatter the seed everywhere. This world needs Christians, but it needs Christians to be holy.

 

Arthur Barry