Think of something you do when you're home (a tradition, a pastime, a sport, etc.) or something that happens regularly that would be weird to anybody who wasn't from where you're from. Share with the group.
If you want, you can watch this video of a bull moose in an Anchorage, AL neighborhood as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iuo3-u5HGqI
Think for a moment: Where do you feel most comfortable? Imagine an exact place or group of people. Don't move on until everyone has a place in mind and some have shared.
- Why do you feel comfortable there? Are you happy to feel at peace in that context? Or does the answer bother you?
What do the words "resident alien" make you think of? In what ways are you a resident alien? What does that mean about how you live your life?
How are you different from the world? Share a time when you really stood out/didn’t fit in. OR share a story about someone you admire who doesn't fit in.
Do you sometimes find yourself too attached to this world? Explain. What could you do, practically speaking, to loosen the cords tying you to it? Make a plan.
On the flip side, have you ever been guilty of not investing enough in this world? Do you ever struggle to believe you could make a difference? If so, why do you think that is?
Together with your group, make a list of ways to make this earth more like home. Identify some things you're already doing and brainstorm some new ways, too. (Do this in conjunction with the scripture reading!)
Read Romans 12:1-2; 9-21
Does this look like the way the world lives? Give examples (or counter examples).
What can we do to make the world look more like this? Offer practical suggestions.
- Earlier we asked if you were too attached to this world. Specifically, what do you need to let go of here on earth? What are you holding onto too tightly or investing too much time or energy in? Have each group member share one thing they care too much about and pray for help letting go.
- You might also consider praying The Lord's Prayer as a group tonight, emphasizing the words "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." Where do you want to see God's will be done here on earth? Pray for the specific places you're love to see His kingdom come.
TO MAKE YOU THINK
Pico Iyer says in his TED talk on global mobility and notions of home,
“I've always felt that the beauty of being surrounded by the foreign is that it slaps you awake. You can't take anything for granted. Travel, for me, is a little bit like being in love, because suddenly all your senses are at the setting marked "on." Suddenly you're alert to the secret patterns of the world. The real voyage of discovery, as Marcel Proust famously said, consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes. And of course, once you have new eyes, even the old sights, even your home become something different.”
Have you had this experience with travel? When and where?
What would it look like to be a tourist every day right where you are? Name three things you could start doing tomorrow.