Tonight we are gathering for our final discussion of Bishop Curry’s book Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus. The book ends with the location of where to encounter the Risen Lord – Go to Galilee, for there you will find Jesus. Matt 28:7. As Curry elaborates in his first video as Presiding Bishop, “Galilee” is the world beyond the protective walls of the church where our ministry takes place. Just as the Word came down to us, so too are we to go out into the world.
And as we go out into the mission field, our accents should betray that we belong to Jesus. During Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, Peter sat in the outer courtyard, and it was his accent as a Galilean that caused the young women and the bystanders to accuse Peter of being one of Jesus’ disciples. Matt 26:69-75. The question for us, therefore, is what is our accent? What accent do people hear from Christians? What are the essential teachings of Christ that we articulate to the world?
Last year I came across THIS blog post (“A Queer Calling”, May 1, 2014) in which the simple question “What do Christians believe” elicited responses more in line with contemporary culture-war politics (right and left) than Jesus himself. As the writer concludes “It seems that anyone can create a list of items that Christians are against: gay marriage, abortion, war, capitalism, poverty, etc. It’s no wonder these are the first sorts of things that come to mind for a lot of young people when they try and list core tenets of the Christian faith. It’s regrettable that Christianity is becoming more defined by the boundaries of the culture war than by the good news of Christ. We lose people because we lose the opportunity to invite them to follow Christ as one of his disciples.” Therefore, how do we as Christians transcend our cultural disagreements? And how are our accents different than the respective culture-war tribe to which we individually belong?
Dinner is at 6. The menu is Southern pot pie (ham, greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread). Discussion about 6:45. We are not gathering next week. Please remember in two weeks (February 16) we are beginning our Lenten study of Henri Nouwen’s book The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. We’ll have books available on Tuesday. Cost is $10. Hope to see you here.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.Romans 13:8-10