Breaking Out of the Bubble
By Milena McMurrin
Pretty much my whole life I had been in a Christian bubble. That is until my senior year of college. I started working at Starbucks and became friends with a few of my coworkers. I grew closest to two girls involved in long-term lesbian relationships, and they taught me so much about my faith. I started hanging out with them outside of work, giving them rides home, and lending a listening ear. Of course, this started to take up a large portion of my time, so I became less consistent and stopped leading at my Wednesday night campus ministry. That caused a bit of a stir and pushback from my Christian bubble.
I think Jesus was proud of me. He famously faced the pushback he received while spending time with outsiders instead of in the temple. When we look at history, the early church spent the majority of their time being witnesses of the gospel, not preaching and teaching in the temples. They considered themselves signposts pointing to the great love and redemption of God.
In my Christian bubble my mind was filled with knowledge of God, but I missed out on some of the tangible ways to serve Him. He longs to be with His people, and we can be a part of that! Because the Holy Spirit is within me, God has equipped me to join into His reconciling work as an ambassador of God’s kingdom – among many people who have never stepped foot inside of a holy building.
“Christ’s present power is visible through us when relationships are reconciled, the gospel is proclaimed, and the marginalized are cared for.”
Through the Holy Spirit, God has given us the means to make Jesus physically manifest to the world! “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Christ’s present power is visible through us when relationships are reconciled, the gospel is proclaimed, and the marginalized are cared for.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mark 9:37). Jesus is telling us that when we care for a child and acknowledge His name, we receive Him and the Father who sent Him. This awareness will drastically change the way that we see and interact with people. We get to interact with Jesus!
Let’s go back to talking about the mission of God: “When God’s people become present to God’s presence in the world by making space for Christ’s presence to be among them, witness happens” (David Fitch). Let’s realize that we are the extension of God’s presence to the world. I’m concerned that, like me, many of us may be inside the walls of the building more often than amongst the people Jesus sought after. It is easy for us to find ourselves in a bubble of people who all share the hope of Jesus.
We are called to join the missionary God in revealing the hope and light of the world. It’s encouraging to think that even if I did not say the right thing to my non-believing friends at Starbucks, when my Christian friends and I were with them, so was God’s manifest presence. That is more powerful than any words I could have come up with on my own.
Milena is on the Advisory Team of Slingshot, a network linking microchurches with one another for support and greater effectiveness, and serves at Downtown Credo. You can learn more about Slingshot here and subscribe to their newsletter here.
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