Jonah: Mission to the Great City – Gratitude from the Grave 11-19-2017

Jonah 2:1-10

1) If you’re going through a hard time, what might “thanksgiving” look like for you? How can you praise God even while you’re in “the pit” and when it feels like your life is “ebbing away”?
2) How have the “idols” of your heart caused you to “turn away” from God’s love?

“Gratitude” comes from the same word as freedom (gratis = free). Gratitude is the freeing expression of a free heart toward one who freely gave.
Ravi Zacharias

Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The cross was the proof of His love—that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary’s cross, though “legions of angels” might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us—not from anything it takes to make us like His Son.
Elisabeth Elliot

A ‘god’ is the term for that to which we are to look for all good and in which we are to find refuge in all need. Therefore, to have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe in that one with your whole heart. … Anything on which your heart relies and depends, I say, that is really your God.
Martin Luther

You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Anne Lamott

 

Jonah: Mission to the Great City – “Running Away” 11-12-2017

Jonah 1:1-17

1) What’s one way or one area of your life in which you’re running from God? Are you running from God’s call to love this great city?
2) Is it possible that a “storm” in your life is part of God’s pursuit of your heart—his loving commitment to get you back?

You can run away from God, but he will always come and find you.
Sally Lloyd-Jones

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing.
C.S. Lewis

God sends the storm to show that he is the only shelter.
Anonymous

The Gospel According to Ruth: “He Has Not Left You Without” – 11-5-2017

Ruth 4:1-17

1) What’s one lesson from today’s passage that might impact how you see yourself, your neighbor, or your God in the coming week? How might it impact how you live (attitudes, actions)?
2) What’s one question (or objection) this passage raises for you?

We think of the spiritual meaning of “redeemer” but not the every day “redeeming” that is crying out all around us. Our lives should reflect the “redeeming” life of Jesus. If that were to happen, we would live not one life, but a thousand lives.
Paul Miller

Jesus [is] the man who is not just safe, but who is the embodiment of refuge, and salvation.
Rachael Starke

The violent winds of suffering and trouble blow us into the Lord’s protective hands.
Sadhu Sundar Singh

Fall Retreat Sunday 10-29-2017 Scott Sauls – Catholocity in an Age of Racial Tension

  1. Discuss one thing from this talk that you wish more people could hear. Who, specifically, would you want to hear it and why?
  2. Discuss one thing that challenged your thinking, or perhaps even troubled you, and why.
  3. Based on this talk, what is one thing Jesus might want you to believe more deeply, or live most fully, as his child and friend?

Fall Retreat Saturday Evening 10-28-2017 Scott Sauls – Kindness in an Age of Outrage

  1. Discuss one thing from this talk that you wish more people could hear. Who, specifically, would you want to hear it and why?
  2. Discuss one thing that challenged your thinking, or perhaps even troubled you, and why.
  3. Based on this talk, what is one thing Jesus might want you to believe more deeply, or live most fully, as his child and friend?

Fall Retreat Saturday Morning 10-28-2017 Scott Sauls – Spiritual Friendship in an Age of Isolation

  1. Discuss one thing from this talk that you wish more people could hear. Who, specifically, would you want to hear it and why?
  2. Discuss one thing that challenged your thinking, or perhaps even troubled you, and why.
  3. Based on this talk, what is one thing Jesus might want you to believe more deeply, or live most fully, as his child and friend?

The Gospel According to Ruth – The Threshing Floor – 10-22-2017

Ruth 3

1) How do Boaz and Ruth illustrate “loyal love” to us? What do they say and do?
2) Does the “romance” in this passage surprising to you? Make you uncomfortable? What do we learn about the Bible’s take on marriage and romance?

We think of the spiritual meaning of “redeemer” but not the every day “redeeming” that is crying out all around us. Our lives should reflect the “redeeming” life of Jesus. If that were to happen, we would live not one life, but a thousand lives.
Paul Miller

Jesus [is] the man who is not just safe, but who is the embodiment of refuge, and salvation.
Rachael Starke

The violent winds of suffering and trouble blow us into the Lord’s protective hands.
Sadhu Sundar Singh

The Gospel According to Ruth – Grace in the Gleaning Fields – 10-15-2017

Ruth 2

1) What does this passage teach us how we can love each other more
generously?
2) What are ways you can serve as a go-el (redeemer) of others? How is
Jesus our ultimate go-el redeemer?

We think of the spiritual meaning of “redeemer” but not the every day “redeeming” that
is crying out all around us. Our lives should reflect the “redeeming” life of Jesus. If that
were to happen, we would live not one life, but a thousand lives.
Paul Miller

Jesus [is] the man who is not just safe, but who is the embodiment of refuge,
and salvation.
Rachael Starke
The violent winds of suffering and trouble blow us into the Lord’s protective
hands.
Sadhu Sundar Singh

The Gospel According to Ruth: Bitterness and Kindness – 10-8-2017

Ruth 1:1-22

1) Can you relate to the “bitter” anguish that Naomi suffered? How have
you grieved that loss?
2) Have you ever experienced—or offered—the kind of sacrificial, loyal
love that Ruth offers to Naomi?

“Providence” says that God is there, God cares, God rules, and God provides. Faith
in such a God undergirds every chapter of Ruth.
David Atkinson
Sometimes [the Old Testament word] hesed is translated “steadfast love.” It combines
commitment with sacrifice. Hesed is one-way love. Love without an exit strategy.
When you love with hesed love, you bind yourself to the object of your love, no matter
what the response is. So if the object of your love snaps at you, you still love that
person. If you’ve had an argument with your spouse in which you were slighted or not
heard, you refuse to retaliate through silence or withholding your affection. Your
response to the other person is entirely independent of how that person has treated
you. Hesed is a stubborn love.
Paul Miller
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
William Cowper

What is our Mission? Neighborhood – 10-1-2017

Genesis 2:8-22

Our Vision: A True Neighborhood
Our Mission: To build a gospel community that is intentionally “spiritually diverse,” cross-cultural, and
neighborhood-centered for the good of our neighbors and the glory of Jesus Christ in Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Petworth, and beyond.

1) What do you think about the important the Bible puts on “place”? What are ways you live without attentiveness to where you are and who/what surrounds you?
2) What would it look like for you to learn to this neighborhood? How can you become a better servant and cultivator, rather than consumer, of the gifts of our neighborhood?

We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the road once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might indeed become neighbors.
Henri Nouwen

To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.
Simone Weil

Until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low-income people is likely to do more harm than good. I sometimes unintentionally reduce poor people to objects that I use to fulfill my own need to accomplish something. I am not okay, and you are not okay. But Jesus can fix us both.
Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

In the Christian imagination, where you live gets equal billing with what you believe. Geography and theology are biblical bedfellows. Everything that the creator God does, and therefore everything that we do, since we are his creatures and can hardly do anything in any other way, is in place. All living is local—this land, this neighborhood, these trees and streets and house, this work, these shops and markets.
Eugene Peterson