For Saturday night, we had CJ Caufield, former camp caretaker, come back to speak at service.
CJ began his message with a concept that most Christians are familiar with: it’s important for us as followers of Christ to be in the world, but not of the world. He went on to state that when Christians fully embody the spirit of Christ, living in holiness, the people around them often take notice that there is just something different about them. Similar to the idea found in the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew chapter 5, where Jesus states in verse 14: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” As Christians, it is important for us to remember that our biggest method of ministry is simply found in the way that we talk, act, and respond in even the toughest situations. When you are filled with the Spirit of the living Christ, you become a beacon in dark and sinful world.
However, CJ remarked that it is so easy for us as humans to fall into a natural state of sin. In fact, it’s inevitable. But how we respond to our sin is key to how we are perceived by unbelievers. CJ went on to quote Jeremiah 8:12, which states: “Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.” As humans with a natural tendency to fall into sin, we can easily begin to feel so comfortable with our actions. So comfortable in fact that our sins are no longer shameful to us.
In that moment, we are becoming of the world. And as people of God, when you attempt to try to fit into our corrupted world and witness to it the message of Jesus Christ, we are not living the holy life that God intends for us.
One passage that stuck out to me that CJ mentioned was 2 Corinthians 5:16-21. Having worked at camp for several summers now, it’s important to realize how much your actions and words are affecting both the campers and your fellow staff members. The verses go as follows: “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
One of the main messages of Delanco Camp is the idea of holiness. And holiness, in it’s true form is, when experienced, a person living a transformed life that is in the world, but not of the world. This particular section speaks about the fact that, as Christians, we are ambassadors for God in a darkened world.
Here at camp, the principle stands. It’s important to remember that your influence can have an effect on the spiritual life of a camper: both positively and negatively. If you are truly living for God in the world, you will be a beacon in the dark night for all of those around you.
Now, as CJ closed his message last night, do you feel like you are living in the world, not of the world, being an ambassador of Christ in your words and actions?