Video Introduction

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reflections on the Jesus Story Year

Jesus Story Year Reflections

Sunday Readings
Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:25-35, 37b
Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23
June 6, 2010

Note
On this Sunday, Fr. Thomas asked some members of our church to give their personal reflections on their relationship with Christ in the context of the Jesus Story Year.  This recording is of things said at both services. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Appendix One: Christ in the Trinity

The Jesus Story Year comes to a close with the 40th story, Christ Sends the Holy Spirit.  However, we have two "appendices."  The first is the Trinity Sunday sermon, Christ in the Trinity.  You can hear that sermon by going here:  http://redeemernashville.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=620845 

These are the readings for this Sunday:

Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 
Psalm 8
Romans 5:1-5
John 16:12-15

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week 40: Christ Sends the Holy Spirit

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 40: Christ Sends His Spirit

Sunday Readings
Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:25-35, 37b
Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23

Further Reading and Meditation
Genesis 1:1-3
Exodus 31:1-11
Judges 14:1-7
1 Samuel 16:1-4
Psalm 51
Isaiah 11:1-10
Isaiah 61
Ezekiel 31:1-14
Matthew 1:18-25
John 1:29-34
John 16:5-15

Discussion Questions
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  The Jesus Story Year is drawing to a close.  In two weeks, we are going to share some reflections on the year together.  What is one thing you have heard, experienced, or learned during the Jesus Story Year that you would like to keep with you?

2)  Can you describe who or what the Holy Spirit is and does? 

3)  How do you experience the Holy Spirit?

4)  How could the Holy Spirit have an increased role in your life?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week 39: Christ Ascends

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 39: Christ Ascends

Sunday Readings
Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47
Ephesians 1:15-23 

Luke 24:44-53

Further Reading and Meditation
Psalm 68
Mark 16:14-19
John 20:11-18
Ephesians 4:1-16
Romans 10

Discussion Questions
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Have you ever ascended?  Not literally, I assume, but have you ever been raised up from one position to another?

2) The Ascension is a major event in the life of Christ, but is not often discussed.  Do you remember hearing a sermon or teaching about the ascension?  Do you remember anything that was said about it?

3)  According to the Ephesians passage, what happens to Christ as a result of the Ascension?

4)  What role does an ascended Christ play in the life of the Church?  What role can he now play in your life?

5)  The Acts passage says that Christ will return.  Do you look forward to that return?  Do you believe it will literally happen?  In your lifetime?  What difference would it make to you if you believed he would return in your lifetime?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week 38: Christ Will Come Again

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 38: Christ Will Come Again

Sunday Readings
Daniel 7:9-14
Psalm 93
Revelation 1:9-18
Matthew 24:42-51

Further Reading and Meditation
Revelation (yes, the whole book)

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Tell us your favorite flood story from the past week or so.  It can be funny, sad, inspiring, irritating, whatever. 

2) How have you seen God at work in the midst of this flood?

3) If Christ is going to return, what significance does loss of property hold?  Loss of life?  Does Christ’s return indicate that he cares for this life, or that he is focused on the next, or somehow both?

4) Is the return of Christ something that you believe in theoretically?  Do you believe in it emotionally?  What meaning does the idea have for you?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week 37: Christ Calls Saul

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 37: Christ Calls Saul

Sunday Readings
Acts 26:1-20
Psalm 22:22-26
Philippians 3:1-14
John 10:11-17

Further Reading and Meditation
Numbers 22:22-41
Acts 9:1-31
Acts 22
Galatians 1:11-2:10

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Would you consider yourself: a) spiritual and religious; b) spiritual but not religious; c) religious but not spiritual; or d) neither spiritual nor religious.  Why?  Why do you mean by that?
2)  Was there ever a time when you were more religious than you are now?  Were you ever less religious? 
3)  Has being religious ever helped you in your relationship with other people?  Has it helped you in your relationship with Christ?
4)  Has being religious ever hurt your relationship with other people?  Has it ever hurt your relationship with Christ?
5)  Saul was utterly sincere in his religion before he came to know Christ.  Why does he later consider all of his previous religious life to be ‘rubbish’ (Philippians 3:7-8)
6)  Do you experience the tension of both being saved by grace alone but also called upon to practice a faithful religion?  What is that tension like?  Have you ever seen this balance lived well?

If you can’t figure out a working definition of “religious” and need one, the Merriam-Webster definition is “1) relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity; 2) of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs or observances and 3) scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week 36: Christ For the Whole World

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 36: Christ For the Whole World

Sunday Readings
Genesis 12:1-3
Psalm 24
Acts 10
Matthew 28:16-20

Further Reading and Meditation
Mark 16:14-20
John 14:1-6
Acts 11
Romans 2 and 3

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) If Christianity did not exist, what religion or philosophy would you find most attractive?
2) Is Christ you way to salvation, everyone’s way, the only way, and/or the way for all who believe in him?  Why do you think that?
3) Thinking of people you know who don’t put their faith in Christ, what do you think prevents them from doing so?
4) Have you had the opportunity to share your faith in Christ with someone in the past year?  What happened?
5)  Why do you believe in Christ?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Week 35: Christ Intercedes for His People

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 35: Christ Intercedes for His People

Sunday Readings
Acts 6:8-15, 7:54-60
Psalm 4
1 Timothy 2:1-6
John 17:1, 13-21

Further Reading and Meditation
Leviticus 16
Haggai 1 and 2
Zechariah 3
Matthew 26:57-67
John 11:45-57
Acts 6-7
Hebrews 4:14-5:10

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Have you ever interceded for someone?  Have you ever needed someone to intercede for you? 

2) What does it mean that Christ is the “one mediator between God and humanity”?  Why do you need his mediation?  Why does the world need his mediation?

3)  If Christ prays for you, what do you need him to pray for?  What does the Bible say he actually prays for you?

4)  Who are you called to intercede for?  What does it mean for you to intercede for them?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week 34: Christ Restores Peter

Jesus Restores Peter

Acts 9:1-19
Psalm 126
Ephesians 3:7-13
John 21:15-23

Further Reading and Meditation
Job 19:20-27
Ephesians 1:15-23
Colossians 3
John 13:31-38
John 18:15-27

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Have you ever felt embarrassed to be a Christian around people you wanted to like you?  How did you respond?

2) Have you ever been tempted to compare your life, spirituality, personality or talents to other Christians?  How does that get in the way of following Christ?

3) Do you know anyone who has done something risky or dangerous because of their faith?  What was the result?

4) How is Jesus calling you to follow Him in your present circumstances?  What might be at stake?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Respond to the Jesus Story Year

Way back in August we started a journey together, following the story of Christ from Genesis to Revelation.  With about six chapters left to go, the Jesus Story Year draws to a close at the end of May. 

Since we began, I’ve received scores of positive comments and quite a few notes from our members, as well as from people in other states.  On June 5th we’re planning a wrap-up and celebration of the Jesus Story Year.  If the Lord has spoken to you through this process, I’d like for you to share that with the rest of us.  Do you feel closer to Christ?  Have you grown in your understanding of Jesus or the Bible?  Has the Lord used this year to renew you?  If so, we have a few different ways you can respond. 

1) Write a note and tell us the Lord has done in you.  This can be a physical note or an e-mail.  Please send it to Fr. Thomas at the church office.  Thomas@RedeemerNashville.net

2) Volunteer to speak for a couple of minutes at the service on June 6th.  Only a few people will be able to speak, so let Fr. Thomas know specifically what you would like to talk about. 

3)  Volunteer to do a short video interview.  These videos will be on our website and our YouTube channel.  Once again, just let Fr. Thomas know you are willing to participate. 

Even if you don’t wish to respond in these ways, please plan to join us for our celebration during and after the church services on June 6th. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week 33: Christ is Risen!

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 33: Christ in Resurrected

Sunday Readings
Acts 10:34-43
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Luke 24:1-12

Further Reading and Meditation
Matthew 28
Mark 16
Luke 24
John 20

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) How was your Holy Week?  Do you feel like you experienced Christ’s death with him in some way? 

2)  How was your Easter?  Do you feel like you shared with Christ in his Resurrection? 

3)  In the Gospel story, and in Fr. Thomas’ Easter sermon, we are asked “why do you look for the living among the dead?”  Do you look for the living among the dead?  How do you do that?

4)  Have you experienced the new life that Christ offers?  What does that new life mean to you today?

5)  Where are you seeing signs of Christ’s risen life?  In your community, your church, your school, you family?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Week 32: Christ is Crucified

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 32: Christ in Crucified

Sunday Readings
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 23:1-49

Further Reading and Meditation
Matthew 26-27
Mark 14-15
Luke 22-23
John 18-19

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Do you have a favorite telling of the crucifixion (a movie, book, painting, play, song, etc.)?  Why does that speak to you?

2)  Do you think much about the death of Christ?  Is it something you contemplate, or is it something that you tend to not think about too much? 

3)  What does the crucifixion mean to you?

4)  What does the crucifixion mean to the world?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Week 31: Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 31: Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane

Sunday Readings
Isaiah 53:1-6
Psalm 22:1-11
1 Peter 2:21-25
Mark 14:32-50

Further Reading and Meditation
Isaiah 53
Psalm 22
Mark 8:31-38
Matthew 26: 14-55
1 Peter 4:12-19

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Have you ever waited for something bad to happen, something you knew was coming?  What was that like?

2)  In this story, Jesus shows the depth of his humanity.  Does this fully human Jesus bother you, comfort you?  Can you identify with him?

3)  In this story, Christ is betrayed by everyone.  Have you been betrayed?  How did you handle it?

4)  Do you see yourself in this story?  Are you like Jesus?  Like Peter?  LIke Judas?  Who do you identify with and why?

5)  What hope is there for you in this story?  What hope is there for the world?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Week 30: Christ is the True Vine

The Jesus Story Year Weekly Take Home Guide
Week 30: Christ is the True Vine

Sunday Readings
Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80:8-19
Romans 11:1-2a, 17-24
John 15:1-11

Further Reading and Meditation
Isaiah 27
Jeremiah 12
Ezekiel 19
Matthew 20:1-16
Matthew 21

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) What are you a member of (family, organization, church, group etc.)?  What does it mean to you to be a member of that?

2)  What does it mean to you that you are a member of Christ?

3)  What does it look like to not only be a member of Christ, but also a member of your fellow Christians? 

4)  Are you concerned that you could lose your membership in Christ?  What keeps you in Him?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week 29: Christ Receive's Mary's Worship

Story 29: Christ Receives Mary’s Worship

Sunday Readings
Exodus 36:1-7
Psalm 95
Revelation 4:5-11
John 12:1-8

Further Reading and Meditation
Exodus 24
Deuteronomy 6
2 Samuel 6
Luke 4:1-13
John 4:19-26
Romans 12:1

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  Have you ever been given an extravagant gift?  What was it, and how did that make you feel?

2)  How would you define “worship”?

3)  Describe a memorable moment of worshiping the Lord.

4)  How is your worship of the Lord like Mary’s worship of Jesus in the passage from John chapter 12?  How is your worship unlike Mary’s worship?

5)  Can you imagine living a life that is more worshipful?  What would that look like?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 28: Christ Raises Lazarus from the Dead

Christ Raises Lazarus from the Dead


Sunday Readings
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:30-44

Further Reading and Meditation
Genesis 3:14-19
Ecclesiastes 12:1-8
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
2 Corinthians 4:16-5:10
Psalm 30

Discussion Questions:
Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) What was your first experience of death?

2) In older cultures, before medical advances that prolonged life, people expected death at any moment, if not from disease, then from childbirth, plague, famine, or war.  In the modern era, people are often “surprised” by death.  Why do you think that is the case?

3) How did Jesus respond to the death of Lazarus?

4) What do you think it means for us now when Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”?  What does it mean for the future?

5) What would it look like for you to live in the present without fear of death?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 27: Christ Invades the Temple

Story 27: Christ Invades the Temple

Sunday Readings
1 Kings 8:1-13
Psalm 84
Ephesians 2:13-22
John 2:13-25

Further Reading and Meditation

Exodus 25-26, 36, 40
Amos 9:11-15
2 Samuel 7
Matthew 21:1-22
Hebrews 8-9

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  Have you ever physically fought for someone or something?  Describe that experience. 

2)  What in your life is worth fighting for? 

3)  Jesus teaches his followers to “turn the other cheek” when they are hit, and he doesn’t fight back when he is arrested.  Why then does he then behave in such a physically aggressive way in this Gospel reading?

4)  What is the impact of Jesus’ actions on the religious leaders?  On his followers?  On the people of Jerusalem?

5)  If you are the Temple, what does this passage say about the way Jesus treats you?

6)  If the Church is the Temple, what does this passage say about Jesus’ view of the Church?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Week 26: Christ is the True Bread

Story 26: Christ is the True Bread

Sunday Readings
Exodus 16:1-5, 11-15
Psalm 78:15-25
James 2:14-18
John  6:22-35

Further Reading and Meditation
Genesis 3:17-19
1 Kings 17
Isaiah 30:18-33
Matthew 4:1-4
Mark 7:24-30
Luke 22:14-33
John 6

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1)  What do you like to cook?  If you don’t cook, what do you like to have cooked for you?

2)  Thinking of your income, what percentage of it goes to buy food? What would it mean to your life if you got shop at Kroger for free for a year?

3)  In what way does God provide for your food?

4)  If Jesus is the true bread, how do you ‘eat this bread’?  What does that mean to you?  What does it look like?

5)  Are you able to offer this bread to others?  Is that possible?  If it is, how would you do that?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week 25: Christ Sends the Apostles

Story 25: Christ Sends out the Apostles
You can listen to the sermon here.  

Sunday Readings
Joshua 1:1-9
Psalm 122
1 Corinthians 4:9-13
Matthew 10:1-16

Further Reading and Meditation
Deuteronomy 33
Mark 3:13-35
Luke 6:12-26
Acts 1:12-26
Acts 2:42-47

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) If you are in a large group setting, in a class or at a conference for instance, and the speaker asks for everyone to form smaller groups of five people, are you going to a) stand up and say “I’m starting a group.” b) look around for a group to join  c) make your way to the exit?

2) Who taught you how to be a Christian?  How did they do that?

3) Have you ever been sent out on a mission?

4) Are you currently on a mission for Christ?  What would it look like for you to live as if you are on a mission for Christ?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week 24: Christ's Moral Code

You can hear the sermon associated with this story by clicking here.

Story 24: Christ’s Moral Code

Sunday Readings
Leviticus 24:17-22
Psalm 119: 97-106
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 5:38-48

Further Reading and Meditation
Exodus 20
Deuteronomy 4-6
Matthew 5-7
Romans (yes, the whole book)

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) When were you in a situation in which you wanted justice to be done?  Can you describe that situation?

2) In the Old Testament, there is a version of justice which says “an eye for an eye,” in other words if you take something from someone you should lose the same thing.  In you opinion, is that a reasonable form of justice?  Why or why not?

3) What would our society be like if all Christians obeyed Jesus commands to “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us”?

4) Are Jesus commandments of this nature, to turn the other cheek etc.,realistic?  Should we try to obey them?

5) When comparing your own behavior against Jesus’ commands, how do you feel?(proud, happy, hopeless, sad, angry, depressed, joyous, frustrated, etc.)

6) Why did Jesus give us these difficult commandments?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Week 23: Christ Offers Salvation

You can hear the sermon associated with this story by clicking here.  

Sunday Readings
Numbers 21:4-9
Ephesians 2:1-10
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
John 3:14-23

Further Reading and Meditation
Exodus 7:1-10
2 Kings 18:1-7a
Romans 10:5-14
1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Did you grow up in an environment in which people talked about “getting saved?”  What did that mean to you when you were growing up?

2) Are you the kind of person who can point to a particular moment and say “that’s when I was saved?” 

3) How do you respond is someone asks ‘are you saved?’ How comfortable are you with that phrase?

4)  How do you know that Jesus has saved you (if you know that)?

5)  What has Jesus saved you from?  What has Jesus saved you for?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week 22: Christ at the Wedding in Cana

Story 22:  The Wedding at Cana

Sunday Readings
Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 45
Revelation 19:5-9
John 2:1-11

Further Reading and Meditation
Song of Solomon
Hosea 1-3
Matthew 22:1-14
Matthew 25:1-13
Revelation 21-22

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Do you have a wedding-related “horror story” you’d like to tell?

2) Have you ever been to great wedding?  What made it great?

3) How comfortable are you with the image of Jesus making large quantities of wine for people who have already been drinking quite a bit?  (You may want to take a look at Matthew 11:16-19)

4) Do you see Jesus as a joyful person?

5) In your experience, is Christianity a joyful religion?

6)  What would it take for you to live a more joyous life?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week 21: The Baptism of Jesus

Story Twenty-one:  The Baptism of Jesus

Sunday Readings
Exodus 14:10-31
Psalm 106:1-12
Romans 6:1-7
Matthew 3:1-6, 13-17

Further Reading and Meditation
Genesis 1:1-10
Genesis 7-9
Exodus 13:17-15:21
Jonah 1-2
Mark 10:32-45
Matthew 28:16-20
Acts 8:25-40
Galatians 3:24-29

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) Do you remember your own baptism?  Whether you can or not, can you describe it?

2) What does your baptism mean to you today?

3) What did baptism do to Jesus?  What did Jesus do to baptism?

4) What is the connection between baptism and death?  How is baptism like a death?

5) If you have already died in Christ, what does that mean for the way you live your life?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christ Revealed to the Gentiles

Story Twenty:  Christ Revealed to the Gentiles

Isaiah 60:1-6
Ephesians 3:1-12
Psalm 72:1-7,10-14
Matthew 2:1-12

Further Reading and Meditation
Genesis 12:1-3
1 Kings 10
Psalm 72
Micah 5:2
Romans 1-3

Discussion Questions:

Feel free to use some or all of these questions in your cell group, Bible study, or with your family.  Some questions will need to be reworded or omitted for smaller children.

1) The story of the wise men is a familiar one.  If you grew up with this story, how was it told to you?  What do you remember people saying it was about? 

2) Have you ever received a large or unexpected gift from someone you didn’t really know?  What was that experience like? 

3) God revealed the birth of Christ to pagan magicians through their use of astrology.  Does that make their religion good or true?  What does it say about God that he would speak to these people through these methods?

4)  How have you seen Christ revealed in strange or unexpected ways? 

5)  Does God reveal himself to non-Christians today?  Does a person need to become a Christian in order to be in right relationship with God?  What does it take to be in right relationship with God?