Looking at the start and end of Jesus’ life. Borrowed rooms and the kindness of strangers. The stable and the upper room. There’s something about living in places not one’s own which implies traveling light, leaving a shallow footprint, holding loosely the things of this world.
Is that how Jesus is? Well, it sort of is and it sort of isn’t. In the world but not of the world. Traveling light but dwelling deeply. But to view Jesus as nomadic, passing through, not rooted in place or property, shouldn’t mislead us into thinking he’s less that totally immersed and steeped in what it is to be fully human, fully alive, fully part of this world.
And that’s how we should be too. Fully engaged in the reality of the world around us, but not trapped by attachment to particular places or possessions. In the world but not of the world.
The thing about being a bit nomadic, about living in borrowed rooms, choosing to root ourselves in Christ instead of a particular place and community and home, is that it can get a bit lonely. Whether it’s moving around, or choosing not to join in with the latest craze, or speaking out against the prevailing attitude, we put ourselves on the edge when we choose not to conform to the dominant culture. It would be easier to go with the flow. But the edge is where God calls us to be. It’s where Jesus met people. It’s where we meet people. It’s where we meet Jesus. And suddenly it’s not lonely any more.
I’m reminded of Adrian Snell’s beautiful song “Fierce Love” which I’ve been listening to a lot in the last couple of months (be warned – the video will make you cry):
“This is where I seek you, in the margins not the centre.” Appropriate for a Saviour who spent his life in borrowed rooms and the homes of outcasts. May we seek and find Christ in the most unlikely places.