August 2021

The Lives of Early Christians (Diognetus)

I was honored to preach for Church of the Redeemer, in Sandy Springs, Georgia, on August 1, 2021. My message was from Jeremiah 29:1-14: "God's Foreigners." The message was an overflow of my 20+ years of ministry with internationals living and studying in the USA.

For friends who requested links, the church livestream video archive is here [8/1/21 starting @30.00]. Audio-only link is here.

I opened my message with selected quotes from the Letter to Diognetus, an early testimony to the lives of the first Christians — observed by a sympathetic Roman official. Jesus' first followers had no legal standing or political means to promote the Gospel. But their lives became "living epistles.”

A downloadable PDF of my short excerpts from the Letter to Diognetus is found by clicking here. The longer, complete ancient text (all chapters) can be found here. View photos of Babylon's Ishtar gate, through which the captive Jewish exiles were marched here, from Berlin's Pergamon Museum.

By God's mercies, may twenty-first century Christians (individually, as "Christ's ambassadors" and in church communities as "kingdom embassies") live as God's resident-foreigners. With the mind of Christ, let us love God, not clutch onto our rights, status, or privileges. Let us love and serve our neighbors as ourselves. Let us "sing the songs of Zion in a foreign land" (Psalm 137:1-4).