I was reminded recently of a familiar saying among Christians that we are to be in the world but not of it. This thinking has some basis in Jesus’ prayer for his disciples in John 17:16, “They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.” Too many Christians use this thinking to opt out of addressing “worldly” concerns. We justify our lack of engagement by pointing to the evil that is around us as something to be avoided. We’ll pray, but not get too involved. After all, the world is just too messy. The problem is Jesus didn’t hide from the world’s mess. Jesus maintained his unique identity while fully engaging a broken and flawed world and its people. While it might be simpler to turn away, disengage, sing our hymns and keep to ourselves, that’s just not biblical or Christian. We must engage and embrace the world we live in with all of its mixture and all of its mess. Truth is, if God so loved the world, so should we.