Today Mark starts a series of Frontline Sundays. What are they about? Take a look at the video first.
FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
If you are a small group leader, there is a leaflet on Notes for Small Groups from LICC below you might want to look at.
How does it feel to be a Christian minority in our nation?
Peter uses the word ‘elect’ to describe the Christians to whom he wrote, reflecting all that began in Genesis 12:2–3. Take a moment to read Genesis 12:2–3. (Note: the threat of cursing in verse 3 might sound harsh, but it shows God will protect Abraham and his people.) What do you think it meant for Abraham, and by extension Israel, to be a blessing?
How does this help us understand what God would want of us today?
How are you distinct as a gathered people of God? What do you believe that is different from the general population? What do you do that is different? (Note: Think about core beliefs and practices – prayer, giving generously, hospitality to strangers, Bible reading etc.) How do these help you ‘stay red’ together?
What are the specific places you are scattered in during the week? What is your experience of being a Christian there and how distinctively Christian are you there?
Peter describes early Christians as ‘exiles’, referencing when God allowed Israel’s enemies to defeat them, and force them into exile. In exile they had to learn to live as a distinct people. Jeremiah 29 was written to them, including the famous verse: ‘I know the plans I have for you…’ (29:11). But that verse follows God’s command to ‘Build houses and settle down, plant gardens… marry… seek the peace of the city… pray for it.’ (29:5–7). How would that command have felt for devout Jews in exile? How are Jeremiah’s words relevant for us today?
Frontlines are the everyday places where we live, work, study, or play and where we’re likely to connect with people who aren’t Christians.
How helpful do you find it as a term? Why? Why not?
Read Ephesians 6:10–18. If ‘frontlines’ suggests battles to you, is it helpful to think of ourselves in a confrontation? If so, who is the enemy?
Read Philippians 2:14–16. If ‘frontlines’ refers to the everyday places where we do life and interact with non-Christians, what do the verses say about it? Where do you think your frontlines are? What might God’s purpose be for you in each of these places?