No Longer Foreigners and Strangers

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”                                                                                                                            

-Ephesians 2:19-22

This is a passage of scripture I have been meditating on a lot lately. A year ago, I was entering my senior year of college with no idea of what I would be doing post-graduation. Four months ago, I graduated with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree still unclear what direction I was headed. The only thing I knew was that my life was dedicated to the pursuit of God, and to that end I was committed to find a context where I could serve and share in life with others.

In the past few years, I have had a number of opportunities to enter into intercultural and international communities and been profoundly blessed to recognize the joy of learning from people that are different than me. In these times I’ve been confronted with the somewhat paradoxical reality that in our differences, we can find encouragement and hope in our shared humanity. Toward the end of my senior year, I was introduced to GoCorps and got connected with a position through the organization One Collective to serve in Santiago de Compostela for two years with the Terra Nova Pilgrim House. Though I never imagined living in Spain, I was particularly drawn to this position. Not only will this placement allow me to use the specifics of my degree, the context of interacting with pilgrims on the Camino is incredibly compelling. It seems to me that it takes something particular to cause someone to go on pilgrimage whether its for religious reasons or not, and the ability to be planted at the end of this journey, that is for many a profoundly spiritual experience, with the intent to be a listening ear in their processing sounds like an incredible opportunity to learn more about the heart of God. My hope and prayer is that in all of my interactions I would have the humility to seek the image of God in everyone I meet and be so clothed in Christ myself that whether I get the chance to speak the name of Jesus or not each person would encounter the love of Christ through our interaction and perhaps be drawn closer into knowing him and the hope that he offers.

I don’t know all the specifics of what this next season in Spain will hold, but I am confident that if I am seeking God and his kingdom come in the times ahead, that he will make himself known and be faithful to build his church. Even as I prepare to move to a new culture, and enter into the experience of being a foreigner and a stranger, I hold to the hope that cultural barriers can fall away and that doorways can be opened across culture for us to be “built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit”