Friday, August 10, 2007

Stranger and sojourner

At Books & Culture, an appreciation of St. Patrick, and what his example might mean to missionaries today:

In the 21st century, Christianity increasingly resides beyond the protection of empires, in a globalized context abounding with the movement of peoples both willingly and unwillingly across cultural and political borders. As in Patrick's day, those who choose to go "to the ends of the earth" for the sake of the gospel do so in contexts of war, poverty, violence, disease, and even modern-day slavery. Patrick's calling as "stranger and sojourner," as "ambassador" for God, has striking relevance for mission practice in the 21st century. The paradox of Patrick is that to demonstrate the universal ethic of a loving God who transcends human divisions of tribe and race, Patrick took on the particularity of Irish identity. His defiant cry "we are Irish" was proclaimed in solidarity with those who, having enslaved him in the past, were now being killed and abused by his own countrymen. Because Patrick risked becoming Irish, the Irish became Christians. [the essay]
The Patrick Paradox - Books & Culture

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