What’s our Mission? Cross-Cultural Community – 9-24-2017

Ephesians 2:11-22

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, and beyond.

1) What’s hardest for you about building a “cross-cultural community”?
2) What’s one thing in this passage that (a) challenges you, (b) encourages you, in the effort to grow as a cross-cultural church family?

Unity is not uniformity, nor is it sameness. Just as the Godhead is made up of three distinct Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — each unique in personhood and yet at the same time one in essence, unity reflects a oneness that does not negate individuality. God’s creative variety is replete displaying itself through a humanity crafted in different shapes, colors, and style. Unity occurs when we combine our unique differences together as we head toward a common goal. It is the sense that the thing that we are gathered for and moving toward is bigger than our own individual preferences.
Tony Evans, Oneness Embraced

Multiracial congregations can play an important role in reducing racial division and inequality and that this should be a goal of Christian people. We need to move beyond simply stating that Christian worship is the most segregated hour in the United States.
Curtiss Paul DeYoung et al, United by Faith

Unity in diversity is more beautiful and more powerful than the unity of uniformity. This carries over to the untold differences that exist between the peoples of the world. When their diversity unites in worship to God, the beauty of their praise will echo the depth and greatness of God’s beauty far more than if the redeemed were from only a few different people groups.
John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad

What is our Mission? ‘Spiritually Diverse’ Community – 9-17-2017

John 1:43-50

1) In your own words, what is a “spiritually diverse” community?
2) Whether you’re a newcomer to Christianity or a professing Christian,
how does Jesus teach Christians how to relate with those who believe
differently than they?

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, and beyond.

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to
blind those who don’t.
Blaise Pascal, Pensées

If ours is an examined faith, we should be unafraid to doubt. If doubt is eventually
justified, we were believing what clearly was not worth believing. But if doubt is
answered, our faith has grown stronger. It knows God more certainly and it can enjoy
God more deeply.
Os Guinness, In Two Minds

What is our Mission? Gospel Community 9-10-2017

1 Peter 4:8-11

1) In your own words, what is a “gospel community”?
2) What’s one way you can help build a “gospel community” at Grace
Meridian Hill?

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, and beyond.

This side of heaven, relationships and ministry are always shaped in the
forge of struggle. None of us get to relate to perfect people or avoid the
effects of the fall on the work we attempt to do. Yet amid the mess, we find
the highest joys of relationship and ministry.
Timothy Lane, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

Although we often think of hospitality as a tame and pleasant practice,
Christian hospitality has always had a subversive, countercultural dimension.
Christine Pohl, Making Room

Because you have the gift of grace from Christ, you are a gift to the body.
Seen this way, ministry is a natural and delightful duty. In a church that
recognizes that every member is given grace from Christ, every member will
be prized, every ministry will be appreciated, every differing experience of
the grace of Christ will be treasured. Such an environment will communicate
“we need you!”
R. Paul Stevens, Liberating the Laity

Who is God? God Unchanging 9-3-2017

by | 09.05.2017

Psalm 102.

  1. In your most challenging moments of life and in your darkest hour, when hope seems to vanish, how does the assurance of God’s unchanging purpose and goodness give you confidence for the future?
  1. Do you ever feel that God is far from you? In aspects of your prayer life, has God remained silent to answer? How can you go on trusting that God remains faithfully the same?

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. –Moses, Psalm 90:2

The first and fundamental difference between the Creator and His creatures is that they are mutable and their nature admits of change, whereas God is immutable and can never cease to be what He is. –J. I. Packer

A changeable God would be a terror to the righteous, they would have no sure anchorage, and amid a changing world they would be driven to and fro in perpetual fear of shipwreck… Our heart leaps for joy as we bow before One who has never broken His word or changed His purpose. –C. H. Spurgeon

Who is God? A God of Justice – 8-27-2017

by | 09.01.2017


Luke 18:1-8

1) In your own words, what is the justice of God? How is God’s justice
good news?
2) How might this portrait of God’s justice impact the way you pray this
coming week?

God loves and defends those with the least economic and social power, and
so should we. That is what it means to “do justice.”
Timothy Keller

Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.
St. Augustine

Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.
Cornell West

Who is God? The Wisdom of God – 8-20-2017

by | 08.21.2017

Isaiah 29:13-16; Romans 11:33-36

  1. In your own words, what is the wisdom of God? How is God’s wisdom
    good news?
  2.  Can you think of one way you’ve seen God’s wisdom in his plans and
    purposes for your life, which you initially thought were foolish and
    terrible?

 

God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of
three of them.
John Piper

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
William Cowper

Ten words have set the course for my life: God permits what he hates to
accomplish what he loves.
Joni Eareckson Tada

Who is God? The Wrath of God – 8-13-2017

by | 08.16.2017


Romans 2:1-8

  1. Is the idea of the “wrath” of God difficult for you to accept? Explain.
  2. What are (a) 1-2 things you learned about God’s wrath today, (b) 1-2 questions you still have about God’s wrath?

 

God’s wrath in the Bible is never the capricious, self-indulgent, irritable, morally ignoble thing that human anger so often is. It is, instead, a right and necessary reaction to objective moral evil.

J.I. Packer

 

Though I used to complain about the indecency of the idea of God’s wrath, I came to think that I would have to rebel against a God who wasn’t wrathful at the sight of the world’s evil. God isn’t wrathful in spite of being love. God is wrathful because God is love.

Miroslav Volf

 

Do you wish to see God’s love? Look at the Cross. Do you wish to see God’s wrath? Look at the Cross.

Don Carson

Who is God? The Love of God 8-6-2017

by | 08.08.2017

1) What are some differences between God’s love and human love?
2) How might the love of God impact your thoughts, words, or deeds in the
coming week?

 

Hosea 1:1-3; 3:1-5; 14:1-6

 

See, then, what is the love of God, that he gave his Son from of old, and has
never revoked the gift. He stands to his gift, and continues still to give his
dear Son to all who are willing to accept him. Out of the riches of his grace
he has given, is giving, and will give the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the
priceless gifts which are contained in him, to all needy sinners who will
simply trust him.
Charles Sprugeon

One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray
as “those evil people” or “those poor people who need our help.” Nor must
we search for signs of “loveworthiness.” Grace teaches us that God loves
because of who God is, not because of who we are.
Philip Yancey

God loves us too much to indulge our every whim.
Max Lucado

Who is God? The Triune God 7-30-2017

by | 08.08.2017

1) How would you explain the idea of God being a “Trinity” to a child?
2) In your own words, why is the Trinity crucial to the Christian
understanding of who God is and who we are?

 

John 17:1-5, 20-26

 

In the triune God is the love behind all love, the life behind all life, the music
behind all music, the beauty behind all beauty and the joy behind all joy.
Michael Reeves

At the center of the universe, self-giving love is the dynamic currency of the
trinitarian life of God. The persons within God exalt each other, commune
with each other, defer to one another. Each person, so to speak, makes
room for the other two. I know it sounds a little strange, but we might say
that the persons within God show each other divine hospitality.
Cornelius Plantinga

The Trinity is the basis of the gospel, and the gospel is a declaration of the
Trinity in action.
J.I. Packer

Who is God? The Beauty of God – Andrew Russell 7-23-2017

by | 08.08.2017

1) What is the one thing that you desire and seek after?
2) Do you long to see God’s beauty?
“When considering Christian faith and practice, we are used to asking, ‘Is it true?,’ but we also need to ask the question, ‘Is it beautiful?'”
Brian Zahnd
“If there is one sure way to remove us from the devil’s influence, it is by letting ourselves be attracted by the goodness and beauty that emanate from the good and from our God and Father.”
Father Gabriele Amorth
“Religious people find God useful. Christians find God beautiful.”
Tim Keller