- Pastor Toni Ruth reminded us that to call Jesus Lord means to follow his way. Read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and do some self evaluation. Where does the sermon comfort you? Where does it challenge you?
- Christo Kyrios (Christ is Lord ) is a costly allegiance. What would it cost you to choose his way above all other? What keeps you from making that commitment?
Pastor Toni Ruth
- How do we begin to recognize the idols in our lives? What are some potential idols in your life right now?
- What resources has God given you to recognize and reject possible idols? What Scriptures, practices, or prayers help you the most in doing that work?
- Resides in Jesus (1:17)
- Is something we DO (3:21)
- is the purest form of worship (4:23)
- liberates us, set us free (8:32)
- is something we bear witness to (8:33)
- is what Jesus tells and the devil does not (8:40)
- is what the Holy Spirit guides us into (16:13)
- is what sanctifies us (makes us holy) (17:17)
Christ the King Sunday
Christ the King Sunday is the culmination of the Christian year and the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent. This represents a dramatic shift – we go from focusing on the reign and rule of our Lord Jesus Christ to once again awaiting the arrival of the King as a little baby. That shift reminds us that the “cosmic Christ” that we talked about yesterday – Jesus as the Lord of all creation – is also the same God that has come to near to us in the birth of Jesus and is present with us through the Holy Spirit.
We talked yesterday about how the language that we sometimes see in Scripture, particularly when Paul talks about the “cosmic Christ”, sounds strange to our ears. Even a phrase like “kingdom of God”, which sounds so familiar to us when it comes to Scripture, reflects a different worldview than ours. We don’t typically think of our world as divided up into kingdoms – we talk about nations or states. Instead of kings, we talk about presidents or governors or leaders.
While I’m not suggesting that we remove the word “kingdom” from our Bibles, it’s occasionally helpful think about things in a slightly different way. We saw yesterday that one way of thinking about the Kingdom of God is to think of it as a culture – the culture of God. We talked about the various cultures that we can participate in and how, even in small ways, those cultures make claims on our lives. For followers of Jesus, the culture of God is above any other culture that we might be a part of.
The culture of God is defined by the sacrificial, risk-taking, outcast-embracing love of Jesus. It’s a culture that reflects the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things. There are times when some of those other cultures – political, social, even entertainment and hobbies – conflict with the culture of God. This means that we have to make some hard decisions about what defines who we are, what we build our lives on, what or who has power over us.
- Think and pray about what it means in your life to be part of the culture of God.
- What does it mean for your everyday life to take the Lordship of Jesus seriously?
- As we begin the season of Advent next week, what are the sources of your hope and joy in this very difficult year?