Who do you say Jesus is?

Jesus mosaicFriends of God,

This week we will welcome Pastor Rick back from his time away from us. I am looking forward to the insights he will share with us. Please take a moment and send him a note or make a quick phone call to welcome him back. I know he would appreciate it.

Doug Davidson, in his spiritual formation class entitled “Visions of Jesus” asked us the One Big Question: “Who do you say Jesus is?” So much of our answers to this question reflect all the various things we hold most dear and what we think about the Church, politics, family, and money. I’ve been pondering it with Doug’s idea about taking Mark Scandrette’s work in “Jesus Dojo” seriously. What could we take on this Lent as a community? What might we do
differently together? It’s a big question. Stay tuned for opportunities to meet and talk about what’s in store for us all. Who is Jesus to us?

The Annual Meeting approaches. So too does our Valentine’s Day Potluck. And, believe it or not, Lent and Easter are right around the corner. Things move right along here at First Baptist.

I hope you have found all the goings on to be a helpful and rich part of your spiritual lives. I find it all to be exciting and helpful. Essayist, Christian Harding writes on Christian contemplation:

Christianity presents people not with an idea, but with a life; not merely with sayings but with a sayer. It is easy to miss the significance of this, because it goes against the modern conviction that one should evaluate ideas purely on their own merits. But when Jesus talks to his disciples about their day’s work, he doesn’t say: ‘How do you think my ideas are going down with people?’ He wants to know who the people think he is. You can imagine him putting put his face up really close to Peter’s at this point, so close that his disciple smells the lunch on his breath: ‘And who do you say that I am?’

You can read the whole essay here.

As we deepen our relationships with one another, might we find ways of deepening our relationship with The Christ, in the face of friend and stranger alike. May the practices of welcome, worship, and work become clear invitations to all we meet to a shared life together.

Peace and All Good Things,
Pastor Tripp

Visions of Jesus: Adult Spiritual Formation

“Two thousand years ago, an itinerant Jewish preacher and miracle
worker walked across the Galilee, gathering followers to establish what
he called the ‘Kingdom of God.’ The revolutionary movement he
launched was so threatening to the established order that he was captured,
tortured, and executed as a state criminal. Within decades after
his shameful death, his followers would call him God.”

–Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus mosaicPlease join us for our Adult Spiritual Formation hour during the month of January as we consider the topic, “Visions of Jesus.” Beginning with the engaging portrait that Reza Aslan offers in his provocative new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, we will consider how different views of Jesus’ life and teachings point toward different understandings of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. We will examine Aslan’s image of Jesus as a radical political revolutionary whose goal was to liberate his people from Roman occupation. We will also look at the cultural controversy that has arisen surrounding this Muslim religious scholar’s authorship of a book about Jesus. In addition
to examining Aslan’s portrait of Jesus, we’ll also consider our own images of Jesus, and how they shape our faith and our understanding of God. We’ll also review the unique glimpse of Jesus that emerges in each of the four Gospels, giving attention to the nuances, variations, and differing emphases that characterize each biblical author’s sketch
of Jesus’ life. Please plan to be with us for worship and stay for the second hour for conversation about how a closer consideration of the “historical Jesus” can enliven and transform Christian faith and discipleship in the twenty-first century.

–Doug Davidson