Look around my room and you will see a very full book case, a pile of dirty laundry a wardrobe with less colour in it than the average funeral. Above my wardrobe there is a box, in this box is a t-shirt which responds to sound, most of a pirate costume (complete with a dead parrot (It’s just asleep!)) and a lightsaber. My DVD collection includes the extended editions of Lord of the Rings, all the Star Wars films and a recording of a lecture I sort of enjoyed. On a shelf I have more hair product than David Tennant as the Doctor.
There is a statue of a Jesus made from glitter, a small Lego Tie fighter and a scale model of ‘Shunt’ from the hit tv show Robot Wars. I might have more coffee paraphernalia than is healthy for one man and one of my walls is covered in hand written prayers. My calendar is Doctor Who themed and I’m not ashamed of that. I have all the Harry Potter books to hand and there is a skull and crossbones flag neatly folded in a drawer.
I am a little extraordinary.
My iTunes library is full of bands like Coldplay and Muse and Gorillaz, but secretly I enjoy listening to Green Day and Linkin park like when I was 14. I am never more than a day behind on my favourite Podcast, a series of theology lectures. I get very excited by G.K. Chesterton and laugh like a lunatic at humorous pictures of cats on the internet. I have a state of the art computer but am amused for hours by the slinky on my desk.
I am a little bit extraordinary. Not very extraordinary, but a little bit.
I think everyone is a bit extraordinary. Maybe there is an inoffensive public front you have, maybe several. Maybe to some people you’re a member of a football team, and to others you’re a work colleague and to someone else a friendly nod on the street. But look around your room, your space, look in your pockets, or at the websites you bookmarked. Has anyone else got the same stuff as you? I’m sort of proud of my toy lightsaber, but no one else is.
I know I’m a little bit extraordinary.
But not very.
No, I’m not extraordinary enough.
When God saved his people from being slaves, he gave them a land and a law and everything they could ever need. And he said to them ‘be extraordinary’. It is an extraordinary thing for heaven to touch earth and for a nation to be liberated. God is extraordinary. The word the Bible uses for this is ‘holy’. God tells his people to be holy because thats what he is (Leviticus 11:45). The exceptional God who does the unexpected wants his people to be as extraordinary as him.
But being extraordinary is really hard. It’s hard to care for the unlovely and to favour the poor before the rich. And why worship only the Lord? The guys next door think that Baal is responsible for this drought, so surly it can’t be a bad thing to offer him a sacrifice?
Unfortunately, when God came to earth as a man called Jesus, he stepped up the game. This man went around loving the forgotten, doing the unexpected: washing feet; blessing his enemies and challenging corruption. It is no ordinary thing to allow yourself to be murdered, much less murdered without cause and for the sake of those murdering you.
And heres me, thinking that the clicky magnets on my desk are pretty cool (you throw them in the air and they rattle). When Jesus said:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
I don’t think clicky magnets is what he had in mind.
The God I worship is awesome, holy and extraordinary. I am only a little bit cooky by comparison. Yet I can’t help but read the words of Jesus there as a promise, not a command. Because of my faith I’m gonna be kinda alternative. And not in a ‘he gets weird whenever someone offers him Pepsi instead of Coca-Cola’ way (We all know it’s the devils own sweet, delicious nectar). In a ‘the world will look different because he believed in Jesus’ sort of way.
I hope it’s not presumptuous of me to suggest that the Everlasting Kingdom is the one worth living for, and the Endless Light is coming back to make the world right. Its just that I feel it in my bones, the calling to be extraordinary.