Resident Aliens

Passports, immigration and visas is a live topic at the Manse just now. Jane had to renew her American Passport recently and because of that she has had to get a new permanent leave to remain stamp in the new passport from the UK government so that when we go overseas she can get back in the country OK. The only trouble is that the new biometric cards can take up to six months to arrive and it is less than that until we go back to the USA for an event at our son’s college. So we have been doing all sorts of things to expedite the process.
It has made me think back to when I got my green card to remain in the USA when we were first married. Of course the green card is not green, it is pink! It also had emblazoned across the top “Resident Alien.” it made me think I should be green and have weird antennae! However resident alien was also the name of a very important book written by Hauerwass and Willimon about the fact that we are no longer living in a Christian society, that the predominant worldview has dismissed Christianity and we are living in a post-Christendom context. They wrote the book almost thirty years ago, but the church is still struggling to come to terms with the implications of this reality. As a song expresses it, we are strangers, we are aliens, we are not of this world because we belong to a different kingdom, the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I believe that as a church we need to consider what we do when our values are no longer shared by society’s values. Are we prepared to be different, when we do not accept what society is saying and want to stand for a different reality? A lot of the controversy in the church today, when you get down to it, have these questions at their core. it would of as all well to consider how we want to address these issues.

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