I recently learned (or remembered from high school geology) that a rock that has a different origin than the igneous rock in which
it is embedded is a xenolith. The picture to the right of this text shows what a xenolith looks like. As magma flows, it collects other objects including rocks. When that magma cools becoming a igneous rock, the material it collected becomes embedded in the rock and to the observer is part of the overall igneous rock. It just stands out. The xenolith is different.
When I read the description of a xenolith I began thinking about some statements in Scripture about followers of Christ. There are ways that as Christians we are similar to xenoliths.
- Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
- John 17:14, ” . . . they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
- Philippians 3:20, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”
- 1 Peter 2:11, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”
We are not the same as the world. We are to be different. The world should see that difference and realize that we do not belong.
This comparison becomes more interesting to me when I consider that the beauty of an igneous rock is not the magma that cooled, but the xenoliths that give the igneous rock its attractive characteristics. We as Christians can be a saving influence on the world (salt) giving the world a certain beauty. To do this, we cannot just sit in the pew and sing songs of longing for heaven or of our love for Christ, we must be in the world benevolently working to bring our fellow sinners to Grace found in the blood of Christ.