Strange lives, still stranger lifestyles and truthfully being very *different people,* since we've already experienced both our first death and our second birth: the apostle Paul resolved to preach "only Christ crucified," and the baptismal theology Paul gives us in Romans 6 is a gospel of death and resurrection, in which each of us takes upon us the life and the death and the actual name of Christ Jesus, *Christian.* How do we, people who already have died and who in the here and now in really real life are alive to new life in Christ, demonstrate our newness and differentness?
...the church needs to attract the world and at the very same time it needs to be attractive to the world...
Some reflections vis-à-vis our identity in Christ:
- Life of Christ: for starters...socializing, especially eating, with outcasts, ritually impures and just plain unpopulars! And, of course this means violating a lot of the contemporary parallels to the levitical and deuteronomic codes.
- Death of Christ: the Son of God emptied himself of his God-ness and became obedient to the Father's will, rather than self-defining and self-determining his own mission and call, which as a human, as one "like us," well could have been to comfort, ease and prosperity. In plain English, Jesus became a servant and acted in the image of Yahweh, the Servant-God, so we also need to.
- God and strangerness: Abraham our faith-mentor, was an Ivri, a Hebrew, one "from the other side," and in his otherness than and differentness from the resident insiders, Abraham still forms the model for our faithful response.
- God and strangeness: God overcome His *otherness* in Jesus Christ's incarnation…what does this mean for us?
- Saints and strangerness: living in faith's deep-seated trustingness; living within the imperfection of community; experiencing disarticulation of institutions and infrastructures; learning the finely-tuned morality and consciousness of living in Christ; living with human frailty, vulnerability, brokenness and ultimately, living in and rejoicing in Jesus Christ's resurrection victory.
- Saints and strangeness: actually, I wanted to write parallels for each of these points, but for this one you basically can compile all of the above?!