[forthright] No Settling Down Here

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2008 08:34:05 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Yesterday's article got caught in a mail problem. It's

You're our best advertisement. Here's how:


No Settling Down Here
  by J. Randal Matheny, editor

The decision was unanimous. We would vacate the rented
building which for the last five years had served as
our place to meet, study and fellowship.

The building is spacious and of fairly easy access. But
it came at a price. Both financial and spiritual.

So off we go again in search of a meeting place.

We're used to it. The church in Sao Jose dos Campos
started in a hotel conference room, moved to a rented
third-floor space, then went, after it outgrew that, to
hotels again, three of them, before finally resting for
the last five years in a two-story rented building.

So we have a keen sense of what it means to be
"foreigners and exiles" (1 Peter 2:11) who live in the
spiritual Diaspora (1:1; James 1:1).

Peter and James take the word Diaspora from the Jewish
scattering among the Gentiles (John 7:35) and apply it
to Christians.

To the Jews, the land of Israel was home. No matter how
far the people had been flung through commerce or

Christians belong to the higher, truly free Jerusalem
(Galatians 4:26), because their citizenship is in
heaven (Philippians 3:20).

So it was logical to borrow the term Diaspora, along
with much of the language referring to the people of
God, and apply it to Christians.

I'm not saying it's wrong to have a church building.
That's not my point. Buildings are an issue of
expedient propriety.

I am saying that our congregation's physical mobility
parallels our spiritual status as movers-on and
travelers in this world.

It's a good reminder for us.

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