Introduction—1 Peter 1:1-2
1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
For those of you who are our guests you may not be aware that during the past week Jim, our senior pastor, has been in Cuba serving alongside Al Pino of our Miami church teaching and discipling over a dozen pastors from that country. This is his fourth or fifth trip to Cuba. And it is our privilege to serve our fellow Christians in Cuba.
Jim is an American. He is an American in Cuba. He is in Cuba, but he is not Cuban. He is an American. He is an alien in another country. He is not planning to stay in Cuba. His family is here—in America—waiting on him to come back. It is expected that he will come back. His departure date is set and hopefully sometime late this coming Tuesday night he will arrive home, his home, the place where he belongs.
He was on a mission in Cuba. He was serving the Lord while in Cuba, but there was never a time when he didn’t realize that he was not Cuban, but American. When he awakes in the morning he thinks about his true family, his real home. When he goes to bed at night he is thinking about his true family, his real home. All during the day while he is laboring at full strength and total dedication to these Cuban people and his Lord, his thoughts are not far from home. He cannot go far or think too long without reminding himself that Cuba is not his home.
He is not settling his roots deep in Cuba. He is not buying, building, planning or staying too long in this place where God has temporarily planted him.
He is a temporary alien. An alien serving God in a foreign place, but his hope and expectation is for another country, America. An American is who he is and America is where he will ultimately live his life.