Not too long ago I was getting ready for the day and I reached for my foundation from the fancy makeup store. You know the kind–flawless coverage expertly matched to my exact skin tone… Anyway, I was leaned up to the bathroom mirror blending it across my cheek and something dawned on me. The foundation boasts that it’s made with Amazonian clay. Clay is dirt. I was putting dirt on my face. On purpose. With the intent that I would look better with the dirt than without it.
Rather than focusing on the looming existential crisis threatening the makeup industry, I saw an object lesson. (You suspected as much, didn’t you?) Our life in Christ means adopting a lifestyle and a way of thinking that is often counterintuitive. Jesus tipped us off to it in the Beatitudes.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek. All those declarations went against the wisdom of the day.
He told a wealthy young man to get rid of his riches in order to store up treasures in heaven. He explained to His disciples that to be great they had to become servants. And He said the way to life started with death.
God doesn’t do things this way just to confuse us. OR to throw us off balance. It underscores that God is not like us and does not operate according to our systems or our expectations. Paul explains why in 1 Corinthians– “that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Corinthians 1:29). We can’t come to God on the basis of our wisdom, or status, or wealth or anything else.
We come on the basis of what we have in Christ alone.
Of course, this time of year, we celebrate that Jesus Christ did the most counterintuitive thing ever. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, not just to teach us, not just to be a good example, but to give His life in exchange for ours. The King for the criminal. The holy for the profane. The beloved for the enemy.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!