A Vagrant Faith

There’s an old line that Christians use sometimes to identify heaven as our ultimate destination: “This (earth) is not my home; I’m just passing through.” How many times have you heard someone say that? Sometimes we casually (and maybe a little too snobbishly) use that phrase to communicate our reluctance to identify with the “world” or ”worldly practices” in order to stand apart and in contrast to what’s going on in culture all around us.

The problem with standing apart from someone is that you never have a chance to stand with them.

The other side of that coin is that some of us feel that we have to “relate” to our culture. So we try to retrofit Jesus to fit our culture, and wind up losing the whole purpose of our faith, which is to represent Christ to the culture.

Representing Christ will often take us in opposite directions of where our culture is headed. But that does not mean separation from people. To the contrary, the opposite direction is not about geography, but about bringing a lifestyle and a love that is worlds apart from culture.

Christ offers everyone a new lifestyle to live that I call the vagrant faith. In this economy of the kingdom of God, no one is greater because he gives, and no one is lesser because he receives. The world needs to see that. And to see that in Christ, I have everything I need, yet own nothing.

Jesus is talking about a new form of personal economy. Having little money or much money is not what makes one rich or poor. Rather, one’s richness is the degree to which one wants to conform to Jesus, and to understand that all they have is not theirs, but God’s.

The incarnation of Christ was not just to save people, but to exhibit a walking, breathing, working model of God’s kingdom.

Poverty of the spirit is what really keeps people enslaved. Being poor materially may keep one less comfortable, but not necessarily less joyful or content.

So, may the vagrant faith spirit of having everything, and owning nothing, be your lifestyle. When you find that, you find your true identity in Christ.

Now that’s something I can buy into. And I can buy it at no charge. Such a deal.


Question: What are you trying to hang on to that Jesus wants you to let go of, and turn it over to him for safe keeping?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and destroy. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21