Jeremy talked about Romans 12:1-2 and 9-18, and we discussed the Scripture at our tables after re-reading it in The Message version:
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you...These verses come from Paul who wrote them at a time when he and other new Christians were learning how to follow Jesus in cultures that they were unfamiliar with. We are challenged to follow Jesus above all else and to allow God to bring out the best in us even when things feel foreign and difficult.
...9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. 17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody.
We then heard from some of our friends who are currently studying abroad with Globalscopes in Scotland, Spain, and Chile. These friends, like Paul, wrote letters to CCF to tell stories about adjusting to a new culture and how they've grown in their faith since arriving - allowing themselves to be transformed by the renewing of their minds and being representations of Jesus to people who think of Christianity as a foreign concept. Mark Jackson even made an appearance, and told us about some of his experiences with Globalscope and how he's seen dramatic changes in the lives of his Chilean friends because of their time in campus ministry and learning more about who Jesus is.