Archive for the ‘community’ Tag

Jesus Is Not Pretending – God REALLY IS Humble!

Jesus is humble

Audio – Part 1a: 34 min”

Audio – Part 1b: 34 min”

Audio – Full Message:”

Bible Verses: Matthew 26:26-30 John 13:1-15

For more than a thousand years, the Passover meal celebrated God’s deliverance in the exodus of His people from Egypt and simultaneously pointed ahead to an even grander sacrifice and work of God. Jesus reinterpreted the Passover meal in light of Himself and His coming sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. With a demonstration of authority and humility, Jesus set forth the pattern of countless Communion celebrations that now point back to His new covenant sacrifice and point forward to His coming kingdom with holy anticipation.

Theological Theme:

The Lord’s Supper points to our participation in the sacrificial nature of Christ’s life and death, and the humble nature of God – Father, Son and Spirit.

Christ Connection:

Hundreds of years before Jesus came, God made a covenant with Israel and sealed it with a sacrifice. When the people of God broke the covenant and worshiped false gods, God promised to enact a new covenant in which He would forgive sins and write His law on His people’s hearts. At the Last Supper, Jesus explained that His sacrificial death would establish this new covenant and bring forgiveness of sins in the humility of God.

“Why was this sacrament ordained at the time of the Passover? That we might learn that he [Jesus] is the giver of the law and that the things that are foreshadowed in the law are fulfilled in him. The Old Testament was a type of the things to come. He is the truth of those things.” –John Chrysostom (circa 347-407)

“Humility is the principle of all virtues: it removes any contrast, division or dissension from human beings and plants into them peace and charity. And through charity it grows and increases.” –Theodore of Mopsuestia (circa 350-422)

Missional Application:

God the Father calls us to take the Lord’s Supper, participating in his humility by the Spirit, looking back to Christ’s finished work and looking forward to his return.

“Throughout church history, this command to wash one another’s feet has been understood to mean we should do whatever it takes to serve one another, no matter how menial the task. To be a community of foot-washers is to live with this question on your lips: ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’” –H. B. Charles Jr.

“The ideal of a church community living in peace with one another is foundational to the evangelistic witness for the local congregation. It stands to reason that the Lord’s Supper, then, is not just an observance but a declaration about the way things are to be among God’s people. The meal contains a message not only about who Christ is and what He has done for the church, but who is included in the gospel story and in the benefits of Christ’s glory. It is a story of belonging, and a radical message that God intends for His people to identify with all believers, whether they are poor, weak, or forgotten.” –Gregory Alan Thornbury

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Hard-Wired for Connection and Community

                My hope is that I AM is a window into Truth, a glimpse into the miracle, the mystery and magic of who we really are, and of the basic nature of the connection and unity of all things~ Tom Shadyac

The documentary I Am ( the brainchild of director Tom Shadyac, whose film credits include hits like Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, and Liar, Liar.  Shadyac decided to make this documentary after a serious biking accident made him reevaluate his priorities and share publicly what he had been thinking about for years.  Once he had recovered, he set out with a camera crew to interview the great thinkers and scientists of our time, asking them what is wrong with our world and what we can do about it.

Interestingly enough, Shadyac found out instead what was right with the world.  One thing he discovered was that science has proven every human being is hard-wired for a compassionate response to the troubles of others, and that there is a measurable magnetic field given off by every human heart which can have a physiological effect on other living beings around us.

This “hard-wiring” comes in the form of the vagus nerve, which gives us the physiological response (the tearing of the eyes, the tension in the stomach) when we see others suffering.  One unexpected proponent of this was Charles Darwin, who said in his book The Descent of Man, “Sympathy is our strongest instinct.”  We are equipped, at the most basic level,  to empathize with others.

At one point in the documentary, Shadyac was in a scientific lab where electrodes had been connected to a Petri dish filled with yogurt containing live bacteria cultures.  Whenever Shadyac was shown a gruesome photo or asked a stress-filled question, the electrical charge in the yogurt increased, showing the bacteria’s response to his stress.  Researchers at the Institute of Noetic Sciences verified that this response reveals how every living thing is connected.

This interconnection of all living things should come as no surprise.  After all, the Triune God permeates all of creation:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of men (John 1:1-4, NIV).

Shadyac’s documentary I Am provides more confirmation that the life that pulses through each one of us, through all living things, has its origin in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Because “…in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), we are all part of a greater whole and hard-wired for connection and community.  Once we finally embrace this, we will never feel separated, never alone.

~by Nan Kuhlman

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