The Jesus community is a global community. We're a holy nation (1 Peter), spread throughout the entire earth. Yes, persecuted in some places, and poor in many, and often little understanding each other's situations, but nevertheless one holy nation.
This is our identity. We're Christians who happen to be American or French or Irish or Congolese or Chinese or Chilean or Turkish, etc., etc., etc.
How are we to be God's people where we are? And what's our responsibility to each other? These are two important questions. Add a third. Why are we scattered throughout the earth?
The scattering was promised by implication in Acts 1:8 by our Lord just before he ascended to heaven: "But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (NLT) And we see it beginning to unfold when persecuted believers from Jerusalem scatter and share the good news. And when people like Paul move out and see people come to Christ and churches planted.
As we read the New Testament along with the entire Bible, this thought of us being a global community and one holy nation has some important implications for us. And some matters for us to think through. In areas where we won't always agree. Though we can find much common ground and essentially work together in spite of such differences.
We are in this together. As one holy nation. As one global community. Scattered throughout the earth.
God, Help us as your light to shine for others wherever we are on this earth. And help us to be committed to each other, in all of our different faith expressions of the faith, but as one in you. Amen.