Christian lived in Mushy Middleville. He liked his life. It was easy to like. For the most part, people left him alone. Not to be mean, but they left him alone because they didn’t notice him. He was nondescript because that’s the way he lived life. If life was a golf game, he was middle of the fairway. You could count on it.
A few of his acquaintances knew he went to church. Some knew he was conservative regarding some social issues—just some issues, though, because it was unclear where he stood on those that could lead to raised voices. When pressed (which wasn’t often) he spoke with such nicety and nuance, the exchange later left the questioner mumbling, “What did he say?”
In a world where tolerance had become the chief virtue, Christian was so full of it, you smelled it hours after he left the room. There wasn’t much not to like about the guy; but then again, there wasn’t much to like either. Christian was Mushy Middleville’s most exemplary citizen.
Then some things began to change. At first, not with him but life in Mushy Middleville. You see, Mushtown (that’s what the locals called it) was changing. The mushy middle was getting smaller. Logic and reason saw this coming. If there was truth, there was error. If there was right, there was wrong. And even this, if there was Christ, there was antichrist.
Christian found himself in unfamiliar territory. He increasingly found himself needing to declare an allegiance. That would take courage. The problem was the last time he needed that virtue was when he asked Sally to homecoming. She didn’t say no. But she didn’t say yes because she didn’t hear him. So, there was some courage in the veins, just not much of it.
But battle lines were being drawn whether he liked it or not—and virtually everywhere. Virtually because that’s how life was now lived. Church, work, and school were all zoomed; a word that had morphed as fast as gender and pronouns. Zoom didn’t mean fast anymore. It meant something you did on a 15-inch screen. He churched at home, he worked at home, his kids schooled at home, his wife shopped at home. Home was no longer where the heart was, it was where everything was.
All of this was waking Christian up, however. His middle-of-the-road stupor was slowly giving way to the needs of the hour. Actually, the needs were more than an hour old but let’s cut Christian a break. He was starting to see and more importantly, think more clearly. And better yet, more biblically.
The town was still called Mushy Middleville. He still lived there. But he no longer saw himself as one of its citizens. He was heard to say something about belonging to King Jesus and a citizenship in heaven.
He was still nice. Some would say even nicer. But there wasn’t the ambiguity that was in spades before. He was now flush with a culturally engaging worldview. Christian stood for something; check that, he stood for Someone. And It was as powerful as it was refreshing.
Pastor Rich Hamlin
October 8, 2020