March 6 – April 3, 2022
It's important for followers of Jesus to understand the Biblical and historical framework they are a part of. Understanding the Christian story helps us sort out our individual and corporate identity, teaches us how to live, and keeps us oriented to what it means to be the people of God.
For most moderns, "kingdoms" and "kings" don't mean much. Some nations still have a monarchy, but most of the world has progressed and found this language outdated. Even so, for Christians the ideas of Kingdom and Kingship are imbedded into the Old Testament... and fulfilled in the New Testament through the coming of Christ. What is the kingdom of God that Christ proclaimed and demonstrated? And how are we to live in light of that kingdom? What does it look like to "continue the kingdom story" as a sort of Christlike improv lifestyle?
The church is the most tangible way to experience God as 'the people of God' and 'the body of Christ'. The God who “IS” is fully relational in His identity, and we are made in His image. Each of us has an important part to play in the life of the body. What does a biblical theology of the local church offer us as a way to enter into the community storyline... together stepping out as the hands and feet of Christ in the world? How do I begin to know what part I get to play? What if there was an amazing community of people I could be family with?
What is covenant? How does scripture reveal covenant and how do the implications of the OT covenant transform through the NT covenant we have in Christ? What does covenant look like? In the OT, it involved flesh & blood & death. For Christ, it involved flesh & blood & death. For us, it involves another way: grace, through faith in Christ. What does covenant mean for followers of Jesus? What does covenant to us inform us about own places of relationship & commitment (marriage, church) as Christians? What if there is a promise that can't be broken?
From the cloud of God's presence hovering over the tent of meeting in Exodus... to God himself "setting up camp" in our midst in John 1... to Jesus telling His followers that He is with us to the end of the ages. The Christian storyline is one of the triune God continually drawing nearer and nearer to His people (tent of meeting; incarnate God; Holy Spirit). What does it mean for the church to be "people of His presence"? What does it mean for an individual Christian to "practice the presence of God"? How can practices of contemplative prayer help us orient ourselves to the presence of God in the midst of our everyday lives?