This year we are taking a tour through
Our prayer is that God would use our study of Jesus in The Gospel According to Luke to form and shape the people of our church to be like Jesus who engages all people.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE
Engaging All People
The Story’s Beginning
A Story that Happens to be True (1:1-4)
A Story that Seems Too Good to be True (1:5-56)
A Story that Intersects with Real Life (1:57-2:40)
A Story of a Child Prodigy (2:41-2:52)
A Story Worth Talking About (3:1-22)
A Story for All Mankind (3:23-38)
A Story About Conquering Evil (4:1-15)
The Story of a Savior for All
A Jesus for the (un)Churched (4:16-44)
A Jesus for the Broken (5:1-32)
A Jesus for People Today (5:33-39)
A Jesus for Haters (6:1-49)
A Jesus for Lords & the Lowly (7:1-35)
A Jesus for Women (7:36-8:3)
A Jesus for Family (8:4-21)
A Jesus for the Weak (8:22-56)
A Jesus for Everywhere (9:1-9)
A Jesus for Many (9:10-17)
A Jesus for One (9:18-27)
The Story of a Savior Who is Over All
A Jesus Who is More (9:28-43a)
A Jesus Who Many Don't Get (9:43b-62)
A Jesus Who Reaches Out (10:1-24)
A Jesus Who Has Love for All Races (10:25-37)
A Jesus Who is Worth Listening To (10:38-42)
A Jesus Who Listens to Us (11:1-13)
A Jesus Who is Strong (11:14-28)
A Jesus Who is The Greatest (11:29-32)
A Jesus Who is The Light (11:33-12:3)
A Jesus Who is Worth Believing In (12:4-21)
A Jesus Who Calms Our Fears (12:22-34)
A Jesus Who Gives Warning (12:35-13:9)
A Jesus Who Points the Way (13:10-13:35)
A Jesus Who Welcomes Outcasts (14:1-35)
A Jesus Who Seeks the Lost (15:1-32)
A Jesus Who is Better than Money (16:1-31)
A Jesus Who Forgives (17:1-19)
A Jesus Who Will Come Again (17:20-37)
A Jesus Who is Worth Pursuing (18:1-14)
The Jesus Who Provides (18:15-43)
A Jesus Who is Worth Investing In (19:1-27)
The Story of a Savior Who Dies for His People
Jesus the Lord of the City (19:28-48)
Jesus the Lord of Lords (20:1-44)
Jesus the Lord of the Poor (20:45-21:4)
Jesus the Lord of History (21:5-38)
Jesus the Lord of Sinners (22:1-62)
Jesus the Lord of Justice (22:63-23:25)
Jesus the Lord of the Cross (23:26-56)
The Story of a Savior Who Lives for His People
The Story of Death Defeated (24:1-12)
The Story of All Stories (24:13-35)
The Story We Tell (24:36-53)
On Loving God
by Bernard of Vlairvaux
Men are driven by an insatiable ambition to clutch at still greater prizes. And nowhere is there any final satisfaction, because nothing there can be defined as absolutely the best or highest. No matter how many such things one has, he is always lusting after what he has not; never at peace, he sighs for new possessions.
Discontented, the spends himself in fruitless toil, and finds only weariness in the evanescent and unreal pleasures of the world. In his greediness, he counts all that he has clutched as nothing in comparison to what is beyond his grasp, and loses all pleasure by longing after what he has not, yet covets.
It is so that these ones wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting that which alone can bring them to their desired end…the love of God. God has no gift better than Himself. He gives Himself as prize and reward. And therein the soul says God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
All of Life is Worship
This week Ryan Leech, our Director of Worship here at the Resolved took us through a passage in Acts 2 to discuss how the Christian life is a life full or worship.
One of the first things Ryan discussed was that habits can often point to things you value, love and even worship.
What was the last habit you tried to break, or successfully broke?
Let's read the passage:
Act 2:36-42 ESV
36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Was there anything in that passage that you really liked? Any ideas that were odd or confusing?
WE ARE FORMED BY SUNDAY
We see here in Acts that the first large group of believers created some habits. In vs 42 we see that they "devoted themselves to the apostles' teach ad the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and that prayers." These are some of the things we use as models for our modern Sunday "habits".
Why do you think it was important for that 1st group of believers to "devote" themselves to these things?
Why do you think it's important for us to continue these "habits" even today?
Ryan explained that the Sunday service is unlike anything else you'll do the rest of the week.
What are some things that make Sunday service different than other gatherings and habit's throughout the week?
It's a special time a of remembering and reminding each other about God and celebrating Him and our relationship with Him. The fellowship together, singing, preaching, communion all point in that same direction.
How does keeping this habit form you?
How have you seen yourself change over time through coming to Sunday service?
WE ARE SHAPED IN COMMUNITY
Ryan went on to explain that if you're just coming on Sundays you're probably just "going to church", but by taking this worship of God with friends out to the rest of your week your are "being the church."
we read further on in Acts 2 in vs 46-47: And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
How do you "be the church" throughout the week?
What are some things we as a community group can do to better shape each other throughout the week?
We see in vs 47 of the passage and all throughout Jesus ministry during our ongoing study of Luke that adding to the number of saved is a key form of worship to God. We can only do that by extending our communities out to those that don't yet know God.
What was the last community that reached out to you? And how did they do it?
How do you find people outside our church community to pour into?
GOD WANTS US TO DWELL IN HIM
These habits we practice on Sunday and throughout the week in community are there primarily to create a deeper relationship with God. Ryan pointed out though that between Church on Sunday and CG throughout the week that's probably only 4 hours out of 168 week. That's like 2% of our week set aside for what we say is the most important thing in our life!
Ryan then pointed out that the remaining time can absolutely be used to be continually acknowledging God throughout the day, and spending quiet time alone with Him dwelling, listening, and getting to know Him.
What are some other daily habits you use to assist in your acknowledgement of God throughout the day?
Why do you think it's important for us to get to know God more and more each day?
Pray for your group to bring worship into our entire week. That Sundays would continue to be a time of sweet refreshment for us all, that community would help us remember and remind each other throughout the week and that we would all ache to dwell with God each day.
Stop Dating The Church
We see in Genesis that God takes a day a week for renewal very seriously. He made Sabbath-keeping one of the Ten Commandments. But if you're worried that I'm going to try to convince you that Sunday is the new Sabbath for Christians, you're wrong. I don't believe that Christians are called to observe the Old Testament laws about Sabbath-keeping.
Still I think we're missing out on enormous personal and spiritual blessings when we treat Sunday like any other day. Because it isn't. The early church called it "the Lord's day." It's a day to "receive and embrace," as Matthew Henry said, "as a privilege and a benefit, not as a task and a drudgery."
I think you'll discover that God has something for you that will radically change your church experience because Sundays have come to us as on of His sweetest gifts.
We first need to see Sunday with new eyes. Of course, in one sense it's just an ordinary day-- twenty-four hours during which the sun rises and sets. But when your heart begins to beat for God's glory and God's people and you begin to glimpse His longing to visit you, Sunday changes. Actually, it becomes something extraordinary. Something sacred. Something essential.
Every day belongs to God. But Sunday is the Lord's day in a special way. Jesus has owned it uniquely ever since that first Easter when He stepped out of the empty tomb. Think of it. On that morning, for the first time, He had conquered death. He had atoned for our sin. He had made a way for us to come boldly into the presence of the Father. And every Sunday since has been an anniversary of that amazing morning. The Savior has risen and everything has changed.
This crucified and risen Jesus has promised to be present in a special way when His people gather to worship Him. Wherever Christ's followers gather for church -- whether in a cathedral or under a tree -- we glorify God, grow in our faith, and encourage each other. And through every minute of it, Jesus is with us.
"We must never therefore," writes J. I. Packer, "let our Sundays become mere routine engagements; in that attitude of mind, we shall trifle them away by a humdrum formality. Every Sunday is meant to be a great day, and we should approach it expectantly, in full awareness of this."
Excerpt from Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris
A Jesus Who Welcomes Outcasts
-What is a unique talent or interest that you have?
-What was one of your favorite clubs or groups that you have ever been a part of? Why?
I. The Feast
-Jesus shares a parable about being invited to a wedding feast. His exhortation is not to seek out the places of honor, but to let others be honored before you.
-How do you tend to exalt yourself above others?
-How do we see our culture seeking to exalt certain races, classes, or categories of people in society?
-How can we as Christians honor, and exalt, those who are the outcast in society and in our church?
-What is the end goal of raising up others and seeking to exalt the downcast at the feast in the parable?
II. The Invitation
-Jesus proceeds to share another parable, similar to the one before, about a man who was inviting people to his wedding feast. The ones who declined were the ones of high social and political standing. The ones who were brought into the feast to share in the master's joy were the outcasts and marginalized. What does this tell us about the nature of God?
-Was there ever a time when you felt like an outcast or on the margins of a social group? What did that feel like?
-How do you tend to keep undesirable people out of your life? Why?
-How can the church be a place where the outcast, the socially marginalized groups of people find a home and find a place at the table of God's people?
-How can you be a person who is welcoming toward outsiders and the marginalized?
-Who are the crippled, the lame, the blind and poor of our city? Where do they live? How can we help?
III. The Cost
-Jesus finishes this text with the warning to count the cost of following Him. He spent two parables describing the glory of being with Him and eating at His wedding feast in heaven, not He wants His disciples to be aware that there will be a cost to following Him in this world? What
-Was there ever a time when you worked on a project and underestimated how much it would cost to complete? What was that like?
-Have you ever felt the cost of following Jesus in this world? If not, why not? What might that say about your faith?
-Why is Jesus so much better than the world? Why is it worth following Him despite the cost?
IV. Pray for one another!
A Jesus Who Points The Way
We pick up this week in the middle of Luke 13. Duane read the story of Jesus teaching, and healing the people in a synagogue. Using this time in His ministry to point people to the way.
How we find our way in somewhere unfamiliar tends to be the same whether we're trying to find someplace in a new part of town or trying to reach a new landmark in our lives.
What kind of person are you? Are you an ask for directions kind of person, or an "I'll figure it out myself" type of person?
We see in the passage that Jesus took all this time to come down to earth, to meet us and give us directions. Because Jesus knows the way we need to go.
Let's read the passage and discuss:
[Luke 13:10-35 ESV]
10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
18He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
20 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”
22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
31At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 35 Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Duane taught about Jesus coming down and pointing us towards 3 things in this passage. Jesus points the way...
TO HEALING (v 10-17)
As Jesus is teaching on the Sabbath He sees a crippled woman in the crowd, calls her over and heals her. This enrages the religious leaders of the day.
What can we learn about Jesus by seeing how He handles the crippled lady here?
What can we learn about Jesus by seeing how he handled the Pharisees here?
Duane pointed us to Luke 6:5 where we're told Jesus came to make the crooked things straight. Not just physically as in the story by spiritually also.
What are some crooked things in your story that you've seen Jesus make straight?
What are the crooked things that happened in your story that you have need to hand to Jesus?
TO GROWTH [v 18-21]
Jesus goes on in His teaching and points the way to growing. He tells some stories to illustrate growth, about a small mustard seed that becomes a great tree, and a small piece of leaven that affects a much greater piece of dough
Why do you think Jesus is sharing these stories with these people?
Duane went on to explain that God is inviting us to grow, and while we often think that it has to be dramatic and quickly, both of these examples illustrate that the growth can start small, stay steady, and over time the growth will be dramatic. Duane brought up 2 Corinthians 3:18 which says we “are being transformed…from one degree of glory to another.”
What are some small things you are doing that have created growth in your life?
What are some things you could be more steady about doing to continue your growth?
TO SAFETY [v 22-35]
Jesus goes on in the story to field a couple questions and tells the people that the way to heaven and safety is narrow and those who go through it will be agonizing to get there.
What do you think Jesus had in mind in v24 that we must "strive" to enter the narrow door?
He goes on to answer that He knows he will be killed, He's actually come to die, so that they can be safe, and He longs to be their safety and protector.
What do we learn about our relationship with Jesus in the word picture from v34 of Him as "the Hen" and us as "the brood"
What does a safe place look like for you physically?
What does a safe place look like for you relationally/emotionally?
How does Jesus make us safe?
Thank God for being our all knowing Father who directs us to healing, to growth, and to safety. Pray for wisdom as we explore where He is healing and growing us. Pray that we would be turning to Jesus for safety, and enjoying His comfort.
Learn To Be Loved
Rich Plass & James Cofield
When addressing the topic of awakening for the purpose of living aware that becomes foundational for
We have often stated that the first movement of Christian spirituality is to learn to be loved. Learning to be loved is the reenactment of the first stage of childhood in which we learned to trust because we knew we were loved. God comes to us and in Christ declares we are loved by him. His love seeks for us not to fight, freeze or flee but to live openheartedly before him. He longs for us to welcome him, to receive him. William Blake said it long ago,
And we are put on earth with a little space,
That we might learn to bear the beams of love.
The security of God’s love will open our hearts. His love saves us, holds us and preserves us. He won’t forsake us. His love is not dependent on what we discover within ourselves or in our relationships. His love is not dependent on our level of awareness or the goodness of our behavior. His love is a faithful and everlasting love.
Love is the power that changes the human soul. Most of us believe this but only trust this truth minimally. Perhaps this is why
Our defenses are stubborn and ornery. God’s invitation stands daily that we receive being loved
The Gospel According To Luke
“A Jesus Who Gives Warning”
I. The Divine Responsibility (v.35-48)
II. The Divine Rescuer (v.49-59)
III. The Divine Ruling (v.1-9)
Opening Question: What is the biggest warning your parents or someone you trust ever gave you. Did you heed it?
[This is a long passage and lot to take in despite similarities in the message that Jesus is conveying. You might consider breaking it into sections to talk more specifically. There are questions following each natural break. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on the section questions, but get some general ideas of what’s occurring before moving on]
35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are
waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open
the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those
servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress
himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them.
38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are
those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what
hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You
also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said,
“Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his
household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that
servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he
will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is
delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and
drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does
not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put
him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get
ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did
not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to
whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they
entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Questions about this section:
What stands out?
What seems to be Jesus’ tone here?
What is the answer to Peter’s question?
Is there a central message that stands out? [we have a divine responsibility before God]
Why does God give us rules and responsibilities as believers? [To show us our need for Jesus! Because they show us more about God and how to love Him]
49 “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a
baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!
51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather
division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two
and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against
father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against
her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at
once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind
blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You
know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know
how to interpret the present time?
57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your
accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he
drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put
you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last
Questions about this section:
What stands out?
What seems to be Jesus’ tone here?
What is the central message of this section? [Jesus comes as the true servant of God, faithful, wise, working hard, standing up for justice for all kinds of people, poor people, sick people,abused people, racially oppressed people...Jesus comes and is the only human being not to fail and instead to fulfill the divine responsibility we all have before God but then offers His life up on cross, baptized in blood as if He were the worst failure of all so that His blood might cover all the sins of His people and pay the debt we owe and the punishment we deserve to God. Jesus was extremely passionate about doing that. The cross was His mission.]
One reason people didn’t recognize Jesus as Messiah is that they were looking for more of a political leader, or majestic king. In what ways do people misidentify Jesus today?
In the following section, Jesus answers some questions and talks about some local stories and a fig tree, which is really representative of the nation of Israel:
1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do
you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because
they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise
perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you
think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I
tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came
seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three
years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why
should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also,
until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and
good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Questions about this section:
What stands out?
What seems to be Jesus’ tone here?
What is the central message of this section?
As we think about the passage as a whole, is there a central message or theme that Jesus seems to expose? [Jesus isn’t being mean, but actually a loving, caring, and grace filled rescuer- warning to us to trust that Christ is who He says]
What does this passage tell us about the state of our hearts? [We’ve been unfaithful servants, we have tendencies to abuse or mistreat others for selfish gain, sinners who fall far short of what God requires. We deserve judgment and we need Jesus.]
What does this passage reveal to us about Jesus and His character?
Why is hard for us to serve God & others?
What’s one step you can take this week to help you become the servant God calls you to be?
Edward T. Welch
Think of the entire Bible as the unfolding story of God’s revelation about himself. As such, “Do not be afraid” says something about him even before it speaks to us.
At first, it could sound like God is the exalted King firing off edicts from his heavenly throne. He is the Lord; his word is final. When he speaks, he speaks with authority. We don’t necessarily like being bossed around, but we begrudgingly acknowledge that if anyone has the right to issue commands, the God who created us has that right.
But there are two different ways of saying, “Don’t be afraid.” one is as an edict to be obeyed, in which case it is a peculiar edict. It sounds like the King actually cares about us. He isn’t ordering us to make bricks without straw. Instead, it sounds as if he wants his people to know peace. So, even when seen as an authoritative command, this reveals something lovely about God. Unlike other kings, at least those who have despotic authority, God knows the concerns of those in his realm and commands things that are in their best interest. That is the most severe way to understand “Do not be afraid.”
Here is the other way: “[Jesus said] ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father, has been pleased to give you the kingdom’” (Luke 12:32). It echoes the way God spoke to Israel hundreds of years before: “‘Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,’ declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 41:14). No one inserts “little flock” into an inviolable command. No king talks about being “pleased” to give anything, let alone the kingdom itself, to his subjects. Jesus is invoking kingly imagery, indeed. But the one who sits on the throne is the Father, and that changes everything. He is your Father.
I would do anything for my daughters and sons-in-law within the bounds of wisdom and love. I would sacrifice (and have) time, money, and anything else necessary for their welfare. And I am just an ordinary, somewhat selfish father. If there is anything good in my
He is the King. Now consider that the Father is also the King. “Your Father has been delighted to give you the kingdom.” As Father, God comes close to you. He knows your needs and you take comfort in his love. As King, he sovereignly reigns over his kingdom, and his bidding will come to pass. You take comfort in his power. If he is going to speak effectively to your fears, he must be both loving and strong, and indeed he is.
He is generous. “Your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Fathers can give begrudgingly and kings can give simply because they made an oath, but God gives out of his pleasure and delight.
Sound too good to be true? Please understand that when God speaks in ways that are completely contrary to our expectations, then we have encountered something genuine. No one could invent a god who, in response to
Excerpt from Running Scared by Edward T. Welch
Theology of Hope
'Christianity' has its essence and its goal not in itself and not in its own existence, but lives from something and exists for something which reaches far beyond itself. If we would grasp the secret of its existence and its modes of behavior, we must inquire into its mission. If we would fathom its essence, then we must inquire into that future on which it sets its hopes and expectations. If Christianity in the new social conditions has itself lost its bearings and become uncertain, then it must once again consider why it exists and what is its aim.
It is generally recognized today that the New Testament regards the Church as the 'community of eschatological salvation', and accordingly speaks of the gathering in and sending out of the community in terms of a horizon of eschatological expectation. The risen Christ calls, sends, justifies and sanctifies men, and in so doing gathers, calls and sends them into his eschatological future for the world. The risen Lord is always the Lord expected by the Church - the Lord, moreover, expected by the Church for the world and not merely for itself. Hence the Christian community does not live from itself and for itself, but from the sovereignty of the risen Lord and for the coming sovereignty of him who has conquered death and is bringing life, righteousness and the kingdom of God.
This eschatological orientation is seen in everything from which and for which the Church lives.
excerpt from Theology of Hope by Jurgen Moltmann