We serve and love and are children of a peculiar God. Think about it. Our God, the God who created the world, sent his Son born of a virgin, allowed him to be tried and executed, and then raised him up again, is a God like no other gods. He is peculiar. Peculiar means distinctive, odd, strange, weird. Our God is the only god who reaches down to redeem a fallen world with love and grace. We are pursued and caught, invited and lured, by this peculiar God so that we can know him and be in living, life giving relationship with him.
And guess what! Like Father, like children! We are peculiar, too. I Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (KJV) What does Peter mean, that we are a peculiar people? Because of our union with Christ, we should necessarily take on the characteristics of Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, we are drawn into intimate relationship with Jesus. His characteristics then should naturally become our characteristics. Was Jesus peculiar? Many thought so and in fact, arrested and crucified him because he went against the grain of the religious culture of his time. He loved sinners. He ate with tax collectors. He touched lepers. He recruited fishermen and Zealots to be his most intimate band. He asked for water from a prostitute and let a woman touch and bathe his feet with oil in public. He acted in love and compassion while the less peculiar looked down their noses and spit on his sandals.
We are his apprentices – his disciples. The apprentice imitates the Master. The apprentice learns from watching the life of the Master, and patterns her life after him. Colossians 3 says we must put to death everything that belongs to our evil nature and be renewed in knowledge of the image of our Creator. Romans 12:2 says we should not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds. Galatians 5:22-23 says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Unfortunately, it is not often we come across a person that is so peculiar that they are exhibiting these fruits – these characteristics of the Holy Spirit.
I challenge you today to be an oddity in the world, to entrust yourself to the Master to train you in being weird. Yes – weird! Be someone who always tells the truth, who responds with love and compassion instead of anger, who lives life at a slower, meaningful pace void of frenzy and chaos. Be nice! Our world is like a pressure cooker right now, ready to explode at the least provocation. Allow our peculiar God, his counter-cultural Son, the fruit-producing Holy Spirit, to have a tight hold on you during this time. Pray for God to take over your life. Reflect on the ways our Lord lived and behaved so that you might imitate him. Ask for the Holy Spirit to rule your heart and mind, producing good fruit in you. That is the Holy Spirit’s job! And then yield to the inner voice of God that will direct and guide you into a more holy, peculiar, distinctive life. Let others recognize the peculiarity – the difference they see – and be drawn by you to the peculiar God and the life he gives.