Living “As If”

Devotional Archive

Day 4 - December 6, 2023

Living “As If”

    “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

How are we, as disciples of Christ, called to live in this moment in time? Your knee-jerk answer to this question probably reflects how you perceive what’s happening in this moment.  

If you perceive our fallen world as inevitably barreling towards catastrophe, perhaps even some kind of End Times interpreted out of Revelation, then your answer is likely that we ought to simply tend to our own righteousness, so we are ready to meet God, however that happens.  

If you perceive our fallen world as redeemable, gradually improving, and that people created by God are capable of moving toward a more just and equitable society, then your answer is likely that we should tend to the healing of ancient wounds, reflecting Matthew 25 in charity, volunteering, or even support for certain policies. 

But is our calling as disciples of Christ supposed to shift based on how we perceive a particular moment?  Our perception of the world can be subjective, flawed, or even manipulated for political or commercial gain. Such manipulation has been harnessed to achieve great evil throughout history. The authors of St. Francis and the Foolishness of God suggest a different calling, adopted by Franciscan communities of faith throughout the world:  Living “as if.”

“Politically, we live as if our nation were true to its foundational documents of liberty and justice for all; as if people mattered in themselves and not for their economic or social status; as if consumerism and the shopping mall did not determine the meaning of our lives; as if our way of life were not dependent on fossil fuel; as if we were a sister nation among all the other countries of the world; as if right made might and not the other way around.”  

The authors write that living out these as ifs in the midst of community creates a prophetic possibility at a local level, the space for modeling how things could be, ought to be, and one day will be. What if our calling, as disciples of Christ, is actually to live out these as ifs each day, regardless of whether we are in the End Times or on the cusp of a better world?


by David J. Grummon

Lord, you see so much more than I can see.  Even in the face of great trouble, give me faith that I need to live as if the Kingdom of Heaven were already made real on this earth.

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