For much of the past century, America has lived under the banner of Christendom among a culture in which Christianity prevailed. From politics to morality to the public square, the Christian story was known and exceedingly influential. However, following the path of our European forefathers, we are living in an increasingly post-Christian age. Rather than finding ourselves as followers of Jesus at the center of culture, in the places of power, or at the center of society, we find ourselves trying to figure out how to live life in the margins. In a world where the Bible is not known, Jesus is not believed, and our status is far from privileged, our reality has changed and so should our questions. How do you live in the margins, not at the center? As minority, not majority? As a sojourner, not a settler? Among plurality, not privilege? As a movement, not an institution?
Thankfully, this is not new territory for the church. In fact, it’s an ancient environment that served as fertile ground for the rapid expansion of the early church. And, letters like 1 Peter, written to the elect exiles of Asia Minor, strike a new chord with refreshing relevance. Learning from the saints who have gone before, we are reminded that life in the margins is not a curse but a blessing filled with new Kingdom opportunity. As we take the posture of pilgrims and sojourners in exile, the gospel can not only survive but thrive for God’s glory and the good of our city. Life in the margins can be a beautiful thing.