The search is over!
We sat at a table with a plexiglass barrier positioned in the center. On the other side of this clear obstacle perched a man clad with a black bandana resembling Billy the Kid. Questions flowed, answers abounded, identifications shared, papers signed; all through a tiny slot at the base of the transparent plastic. The quest for a vehicle to replace the car that was totaled after being turned into an accordion by a reckless driver was over. A well cared for, leased Rav4 with low miles now rests in our garage with the endearing name: “Zippy 2.0.”
Having a hybrid engine was an important feature to our replacement car search. Why? Hybrid vehicles demonstrate care for the environment as the car runs on a twin powered engine that cuts fuel consumption and conserves energy. The gasoline engine and electric motors work together with the battery to provide enhanced efficiency. The better gas mileage is a bonus as well. One of Gary’s favorite aspects of the car console displays the efficiency of the vehicle – gas and energy flow, power output, and battery charge level.
Beyond motor vehicles many other forms of hybrids exist in the arenas of biology, linguistics, and horticulture. In the backyard of my childhood home, a few hybrid fruit grew: both a sweet and delicious tangelo tree and tart and tasty bosenberry vines. The tangelo tree is a hybrid of the tangerine and grapefruit, while the boysenberry vines combine the raspberry and blackberry. At the grocery store hybrid fruit and vegetables such as plumcot (Plum and Apricot), broccolini (Broccoli and Kai-lan), peachcot (Peach and Apricot), and kalettes (brussels sprouts and kale) fill the shelves. My husband and son track down rare hybrid trout in different parts of the world. Their favorite is the Tiger Trout, a hybrid of the Brooke Trout and Brown Trout. Florists creatively develop many flowers as hybrids combining two different flowers to design colorful and unique beauty. Many of the words used today are taken from two different languages such as television (tele- from Greek and vision from Latin). Hybrids are more prevalent than I realized.
Hybrid – A thing made by combining two different elements; a mixture. Of mixed character; composed of mixed parts.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a hybrid?
I love the way Gregory Nazianzen, a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople and theologian, describes followers of Christ:
“The great Architect of the universe conceived and produced a being endowed with both natures, the visible and the invisible: God created the human being, bringing its body forth from the pre-existing matter which he animated with his own Spirit…God set this ‘hybrid’ worshipper on earth to contemplate the visible world, and to be initiated into the invisible; to reign over earth’s creatures, and to obey order from on high. He created a being at once earthly and heavenly, insecure and immortal, visible and invisible, halfway between greatness and nothingness, flesh and spirit at the same time…en route to another nature land, and, most mysterious of all, made to resemble God by simple submission to the divine will.” (Oration 45)
You and I are hybrids. We worship the Living Lord while residing upon His created earth.
- God creates us to live in the visible and yet long for the invisible (Isaiah 55:8).
- We put to work our talents and abilities making a difference in our homes, cities and the world today, but also impacting eternity forever (1 Peter 4:10-11).
- While following Jesus in this world, we yet seek a kingdom where righteousness reigns (Matthew 6:33).
How attentive are you to your hybrid nature?
By the grace of God we embody the combination of the mighty transforming movement of the Holy Spirit within our soul while also living and breathing in a human body. Every day, God intentionally forms us as we are in this world to resemble He, who is from another world. Hybrid worshippers praise God for the beauty of His creation while also gazing upon the splendor of His matchless character and unfathomable form.
As hybrid followers of Jesus, we exist to reveal the efficiency of God. The triune God wastes nothing and empowers His disciples to live life to the full using all that we are and all that He has given us for His glory (John 10:10). We run on a twin powered engine enlivened by God, created in this temporary world to ultimately live in an eternal world with Him.
In His brilliance, the Creator of the universe, works with those committed to Him to reveal to a lost and broken world His love, justice, salvation, and redemption. We function as hybrids so that those who don’t yet know Jesus might feel His love and long for His invisible and eternal presence.
As Gregory points out we get to “obey order[s] from on high” and “resemble God by simple submission to His divine will.” Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew 22:36-39 reveal those simple orders for submission: “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
The ways we live and love as hybrid followers of Christ point others to the fullness of God and His invitation to be His hybrid disciples as well.
Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
2 Corinthians 4:18
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
John Bevere. Driven by Eternity: Making Your Life Count Today & Forever. New York, NY. 2006.
Richard Rohr. Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. Cincinnati, OH. 2014
Sprinklings of truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Jason Grew. Good to be Alive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K8-9mXjU8o
Hillsong Worship. You are Life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw8-g7a3T7k