LENT 4, SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2023
10:30 AM (kids! + communion)
FIVE SHIFTS OF TRUE REVIVAL + REFORMATION
A reformation is a period of recalibration and course-correction. Any community around for as long as the church will experience inevitable drift over time. Yet the Spirit has worked again and again throughout history to draw the church back toward its center. Key moments come when particular ideas and practices are rethought and core truths are rediscovered.
Rapid cultural and technological change, clergy scandals, church divisions, and political turmoil have resulted in a period where “deconstruction” is the buzzword. Many Christians find themselves rethinking their faith, and many outside the church dismiss Christianity as having nothing true or relevant left to say to the world.
Shift One: Jesus Glasses with Shel Boese
“God always looks like Jesus, and all scripture is properly read through him.” John 2:22 says that Jesus had to die and be resurrected before his disciples understood him and how he read scripture. When a person needs to be resurrected before they can be understood, we are no longer in “ordinary” territory. Add onto this the fact that resurrection itself is not “ordinary,” and we may be dealing with something more radical than we’ve been taught to think.
Once Jesus’ disciples grasped the paradigm shifts produced by Jesus, they never viewed the Bible the same way again. The disciple’s views of God were permanently changed because Jesus became their primary way to understand God. And scripture became all about God as they understood how Jesus explained and modeled him. (Col. 1:15, Luke 15:1-2; 24:13-35).
The Journey Today Discovering Shift One: Jesus Glasses
Pilgrim Church Vision: Love | Invite | Flourish | Root
We exist to love our city and to invite our neighbours to flourish by rooting our lives in the outrageous love and life of Jesus. [Jeremiah 29:7, 1 John 4:7-8, Ephesians 3:17, Col 1:17, Col. 1:28-29, John 13:34-35, John 3:16-17]
“God always looks like Jesus, and all scripture is properly read through him.” -Edem Morny
John 2:22 says that Jesus had to die and be resurrected before his disciples understood him and how he read scripture.
“Once Jesus’ disciples grasped the paradigm shifts produced by Jesus, they never viewed the Bible the same way again. The disciple’s views of God were permanently changed because Jesus became their primary way to understand God. And scripture became all about God as they understood how Jesus explained and modeled him.”
16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created in him—all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers—all things were created through him and for him.
17 He himself is before all things, and all things are held together in him.
18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.
19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son
20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross—through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Forgetting the Jesus Glasses...
“...instead of viewing Jesus as the “pleasant side of God,” we should look at Jesus as the accurate picture of what God looks like.” -Edem Morny
“The problem for many Christians might be that we think Jesus is too good to be true and need to supplement him with other portraits of God we see elsewhere, including in scriptures that seem in tension with his character.”
The false leaders in Corinth and Galatians were doing this!
“For the secular person, perhaps the God that Christians have exposed you to makes you think the Christian God is just like the gods of most other religions, not worthy of two minutes of your time. The problem for you might be that Jesus has become too ordinary.
Putting on the Glasses… Jesus Vision!
“Paul doesn’t get rid of scripture or minimize it; he simply refocuses his lenses where Jesus has shown that it needs to be refocused. Paul’s reading of scripture is not flat. Not everywhere has the same weight. The Jesus-looking portions trump everything else before or after them. It doesn’t mean these other passages of scripture are useless; they just don’t dictate the ethics Paul teaches his churches to follow.”
ON THE ROAD With Jesus
Luke and the Road to Emmaus - they got their sight back on the road With Jesus
Repenting And Next Steps - Turning back toward a God who looks like Jesus
become a place of rehabilitation and restoration instead of a place of retributive
judgment and self-righteousness?
Sources: Edem Morny (lead writer), Samuel Sarpiya (contributor); Luke Commentaries: Jeffrey, Craddock, NT Wright, Others; A More Christ-Like God, A More Christ-Like Word, Bradley Jersak.
For Reflection and Discussion