I love cucumbers. Last year I probably had a dozen plants in two different varieties in my garden. The year before, I had more in three varieties. Ten neighbors benefited from the bounty of those gardens. And our house had plenty to munch on and put on everything from sandwiches, to hot dogs, and salads. This past year I did my first journey into pickling. All I did was eat a jar of Clausen pickles, and then refilled the jar with my own cucumbers from the garden.
Two weeks later, I pulled them out of the refrigerator to test them and see what was happening. Wow! Honestly, my “pickles” in the left over pickle juice were better than the originals! I was stunned and pleased. I’ve already bought a 3 gallon crock and started collecting recipes for next year’s harvest.
In a matter of two weeks my cucumbers had been transformed into pickles. And the cucumbers had no idea how it happened. They were completely unaware that the pickle juice they were “swimming in” was transforming them into something else. They looked almost identical to how they looked two weeks before but they were transformed nevertheless.
It Got Me Thinking.
Actually, I have been thinking of this analogy for some time. I think what happened to my cucumbers in the Clausen pickle jar is something similar to what is happening to American Christians “swimming” in the juices of our post-modern, post-Christian, feelings-are-king, and anti-scientific age. Slowly, almost completely imperceptibly we are being transformed into something different. The culture is having more of a transformative effect on us than we are on the culture. Would you read that last sentence again?
But we are commissioned by the King of kings. (Matthew 28:19-20)
We are sent as ambassadors into the world. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
We are to be light in the world. (Matthew 5:14)
We are the salt of the earth. (Matthew 5:13)
We are to be fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)
We are to be the change agents of the world. (Matthew 16:18; 28:19-20)
Let’s go be what we are called to be!
Let’s live better, love better, care better, sacrifice deeper, die better than anyone else in the culture. We have the Holy Spirit. We have the living Christ. We have heaven promised to us. Be bold for Jesus. Don’t let the culture pickle you in its juices. Swim in a different juice. Swim in the juice of the word of God. Don’t let the culture squeeze you into its mold (Romans 12:1-2).