We conclude our three-week look at what it means to live as a follower of Jesus in a world that doesn’t follow him. In this message, we narrow our focus down to a very particular relationship between the church and the world – in this case, the world of Islam. Without succumbing to fear and hostility or to easy answers, we’ll look at the top ten ways Christians are called to be as we reach out and engage with Muslims.
We continue a three-week look at what it means to live as a follower of Jesus in a world that doesn’t follow him. How, in Jesus’ words, do we live “in but not of” the world? Last week we looked at the concept of “boundaries” and the image of “resident aliens” as possible ways to help us visualize how we might begin to do that. Today, we’ll explore the challenges and clashes that can happen at the boundary between church and world. Respecting that there are, in fact, boundaries and borders between the church and the world, we’ll look at what happens in real life when (a) the church goes on mission into the world and when (b) the world comes into the church. Border crossings can be exciting and life-changing, but they also can be dangerous and life-threatening.
We begin a three-week look at what it means to live as a follower of Jesus in a world that doesn’t follow him. How do we understand ourselves and handle ourselves as a group of Jesus-shaped people? How do we relate to our surrounding culture and society? How, in Jesus’ words, do we live in, but not “of” the world? Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore different concepts (especially “boundaries”) and different biblical images that can help guide our thinking (Salt, Light, Yeast, Flock, Exiles, City of God, and Resident Aliens).
The apostle Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is God’s power for salvation.” Today, as we recall the Reformation that began with Martin Luther’s 95 Theses on indulgences, we celebrate the power of the Gospel – God’s message of good news – and we give our attention to how that message opens us into resurrected lives in Jesus Christ.