Richard Bauckham, in his short but sweet Bible and Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World, says this about the biblical image of God’s people as exiles (from pages 80-81).
“Its positive significance for mission is its call to the church to be a counter-cultural movement, living for a different God in a different way and with a different future in view.”
“It may be that this image [of exile] will come into its own again as the church in the postmodern west reconceptualizes its missionary relationship to a post-Christian society. The church in the west may have to get used to the idea that its own centre in God, from which it goes out to others in proclamation and compassion, is actually a position of social and cultural exile or marginality. This may improve its witness to the Christ who was himself so often found at the margins.”