Saved to ... ?
But what happens after Jesus saves us?
Jesus saves us from sin. But what does he save us to?
Over the last few weeks, I've given this some thought and have three ideas. And for my baptist friends, they all start with the same letter (you're welcome).
Saved to sit
Our salvation is not conditional. Jesus doesn't rescue us because we serve some greater purpose in his grander scheme. The love God gives us is a gift, lavishly given.
Disciples of Jesus are invited to sit at his feet. To worship. To learn.
But too often followers of Jesus just sit.
And perhaps this wouldn't be a problem if our God was a stationary God. But the God of the Bible is a mobile God, a God who wasn't carved by human hands or chained to an altar in a temple. Even the grave could not contain him!
Saved to shelter
A decade or so ago, Larry Crabb cast a vision of the Christian community and titled it "The Safest Place on Earth." And there's something in this that rings true. The church shouldn't just be a place to sit, but also a place to extend safety. A shelter.
This idea informed the Celtic monastic communities. Not shelters from the world. Shelters for the world, placed strategically in the world, inviting the world to vibrant life in Christ.
This idea of shelter reminds us that there are other people who are also united to Christ. This pushes against self-centeredness and against a temptation to make God in our image.
But we are saved for more than shelter.
Saved to serve
Our salvation comes through our union to Christ. And he suffered and died, abandoned safety and security and shelter for the sake of the kingdom of God ... not to be served, but to serve ... and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Often, our theology of substitutionary atonement deceives us into believing that Jesus took all the pain onto himself, leaving us with a life of ease and comfort. Calls to serve clang uncomfortably in our ears.
But serving opens up a fresh vein of intimacy with God. If we don't serve the church in some way, we miss out. We can connect with God when we sit and when we provide shelter. But God is a servant. And if we want to be with him, we must go and do likewise.
What else are we saved to? (bonus points if it starts with an "s")
Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com