This is an indirect response to Mike Devries post A Subversive Life:
Yesterday in class one student was talking about his spiritual background and he actually referred to his particular theology as his 'brand of Christianity.' The idea of Christianity having brands as though they are for sale and we have a choice of what kind we prefer or we are supposed to market it and sell it along side Pepsi and Nike.
We're always elbowing our way (and usually failing) to get to the front, the top, the place where our Christian opinions can be heard. Maybe Jesus was talking about this sort of behavior when he said "don't try to sit in the distinguished seats at the table or someone more distinguished might get invited and push you out, rather, sit at the low end of the table and the host will invite you up." Maybe God wants us to take seriously "the first will be last."
Maybe He wants to invite us to the distinguished seats but we're not playing our role, we're pushing so hard to get to the top to the high seat that we never give God a chance to offer us what we'd deserve if we played our role. Why are we trying to compete? If we really had something no one else could offer there'd be no competition. the irony is amazing, when you think about it, that "Not Of This World" has become a sales slogan, a pitch, something totally 'of this world,' the consumer society. We're called to be servants, to serve the world, to get into the dirtiest places in the world and bring healing and restoration... service... when was the last time you saw that sold in a shopping mall or advertised in a window?