I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. John 17:15 (NLT)
I’ve never completely understood those who choose a cloistered existence, and at times it creates conflict within me. Our culture and our resources have afforded those who follow Jesus the opportunity to hide ourselves and our families away in a box labeled “Christian.” We live in Christian community, read Christian books from Christian publishers and listen to Christian music from Christian record labels. We send our kids to Christian schools in their Christian clothing only to return home to watch Christian programming on television. We go to Christian speakers at Christian conferences and sip lattes from the Christian coffee house afterwards. Inside our box we are safe and insulated. We are comfortable and cozy.
And, I’m afraid we kid ourselves into thinking we are “preserving the faith” while we become increasingly impotent and irrelevant to a world that desperately needs a glimmer of Light.
From the time I first started reading Jesus’ words, this verse from today’s chapter has always seared itself on my heart and brain. As Jesus prays for the twelve and for all those who would follow after, He prays specifically that Father God would not cloister us in a little box. His intention was that we take Light and Life on our journey into a world fraught with dangers, toils, and snares. In the midst of a hostile environment we will need safety and protection. That was Jesus prayer.