Those cartoon chameleons didn’t have anything on us today. Remember how they could blend in with the background, whether it was green, red or polka dotted? The plaid background gave them fits but they managed it somehow.
I wrestle with that question of blending in. I feel like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, trying to balance the issues: on one hand, it is good to be separate from the world. God commanded his new nation of Israel to be holy (separate for a purpose) and not blend in with the surrounding nations.
On the other hand, I see Jesus entering the world as a man, putting on skin to communicate and touch and save.
He did his work and then he left us here to figure out this chameleon thing. I’ve heard the arguments: be in the world but not of the world…our citizenship is in heaven….our battle is different from the world’s battle.
I’ve ministered with people who walked so close to the edge of this “on the other hand” thing that they fell over. Like that chameleon, they blended in so well that they became.
And I’ve ministered with people who so embraced separatism that they had no voice with their friends and neighbors. They became a clanging cymbal, unheard and irrelevant.
How do I speak the language of new and strange cultures without becoming?
There are no formulas here and I’m not a chameleon wrestling with the blue and yellow plaids. I follow Jesus.
Jesus was in the world, offering what no one else was offering: life. Some got it and some didn’t, but he never stopped offering life.
A chameleon focuses on the background but Jesus focused on the goal.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28