By Ian and Mbithe Cheruiyot
Can non-Christians be part of our biblical community? This is the question we had been grappling with at the end of last year. Many of the students we meet on campus have not yet come to a saving faith in Jesus. Some have shown interest to meet and discuss the Bible and share their life stories with us. When I (Mbithe) consider the time God has granted me with Antoinette, Ruth, Jacinta, Sue, Rose and Robert, I am assured that God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. These students are friends who happen to share a similar course in campus. We have been meeting weekly since October 2014. None has received Christ yet but I sense God pursuing them. Antoinette stands out as the leader of this group because the rest are willing to follow what she says and does. The group began with her and Jacinta, her roommate. The rest joined a little later.
We invited them into our home one evening in December before they closed for the Christmas season. We had a wonderful time together and had our colleague Muthoni share her testimony. The students didn’t want to leave the next day. We trust our time together helped them get closer to knowing Christ. Upon meditating on Mark 2:13-17, I (Ian) am led to believe that non-Christians can be part of our biblical community. Jesus demonstrates this for us in this story of the calling of Levi the tax collector. Jesus enters into Levi’s circle of friends and shares a meal with them. This was very intimate in that culture as it is in many present cultures. Later that day, Jesus and his followers ate at Levi’s house. There were many tax collectors and several people with bad reputations eating with the Lord. The majority of these people ended up following Jesus and abandoning their former lives.
Jesus invited sinners into communion with him. Pray that these students will respond to Christ’s invitation to commune with Him. Pray that our home will be a place in which people with bad reputations, outcasts, those disregarded and despised can share together with us. Pray that the Lord will lead us to “Levis”- men and women who open a wide door to the lost people. Pray that we will be courageous to enter into that circle of friends in faith