Aliens and Exiles (April 22)

1 Peter 2:11-17


The Christian life can be alien to our surrounding culture:

“Jesus did not call his disciples into solitude and isolation but into a new community. This community itself was a ‘foretaste’ of the coming kingdom: an experience of the promised reality ahead of its consummation. . . This new society brought about by Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom can be termed an alternative or ‘contrast-society.’ Life within this new society is to be governed by different norms from those of the surrounding culture—by the standards of the Kingdom of God (The Church and the Reign of God, Inagrace Dietterich, The Center for Parish Development, 1995, p. 39).

Reading the Scripture

Here are some ways you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    The Message translation of the New Testament (1 Peter 2:11-17):

Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.

Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God's emissaries for keeping order. It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.

•    Lectio Divina is a prayerful reading of scripture. The passages in this unit might lend themselves well to this kind of reflective reading. See the attachment to the first lesson for a guide to Lectio Divina.

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).
o    Faith Comes by Hearing: You’ve Got the Time (Dramatized New Testament we used a few years ago during Lent. Available in the church office.)

Teaching Suggestions

•    Help educate our congregation about the Morocco partnership. Find some articles on the KBF website:
o    Morocco Refugees (general article)
o    Story about recent visit to migrant camps in Oujda
o    Pray for Morocco
o    Invite Shawna Stomberger, Keith, or anyone who has been to Morocco to share briefly with your class.

•    The Formations Teaching Guide suggests sharing a story of someone “who has been ostracized for their faith” (p. 89).

•    “Honor, Fear, Love,” for “those in authority”: Be more specific with the activity in the Formations Teaching Guide, p. 91 and/or say a prayer for some of our local governmental leaders. Find a list of some of our local elected officials here: betterindanville.

•    Anastasia Video Clip: A young woman comes to believe that she is Anastasia, daughter of the Russian Tsar, who was presumed murdered as a child with her family; or ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (see below):
o    What is it like to discover that there is much more to who you are than you ever dreamed? What does it feel like to be out of place?


•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)