What Do Christians Really Believe?
Week 7 | About God’s Kingdom
Nov 21 – 27, 2021
We believe the Kingdom of God is “now and not yet.” During this time, we are called to join Jesus in carrying out his mission, including pursuing justice, until he comes again and the Kingdom is restored.
Share a time you saved money to buy something. Try to recall your positive or negative feelings while you worked to save money.
A liminal space is the space between the now and the not yet. The word “liminal” comes from the Latin root, “limen,” which means “crossing over.” The liminal space is the “crossing over” space – a space where you have left something behind, yet you are not yet entirely where you want or need to be. Where in your life right now do you feel this “liminal space”?
- Read Mark 1:15. What do you think of when you hear the term “Kingdom of God”?
- Read Luke 4:18-22. According to Luke, this was the start of Jesus’ public ministry. What strikes you about this passage? How did Jesus’s words go over?
- Read Luke 4:23-27. What do you notice about the crowd’s response? Why do you think they reacted the way they did?
- Read Revelation 7:9. What images are brought to mind?
- When you think of the word Justice, what emotions does that word convey?
- Where do you see the gaps between the Now and NOT YET in the world today? Looking back on the passage from Luke, Who are the poor that need to hear Good News? What would that good news be? Who are the oppressed in society today? What sort of “freedom are they asking for”?
- In Luke 4:23-27, Jesus begins to remind the Israelites of stories they would have known from their history… about Elijah being sent to help a foreign widow in Zarephath, about Elisha going out and healing a Syrian foreign official. The two stories he references are about a time when there was a great need among the people of Israel, but aid went to someone else. Jesus is telling his audience that the good news he’s announcing about the Kingdom of God is for all people. The good news is for those in Zarephath and Syria, Rome and Greece, not just for people in Israel. Why do you think it is so hard for us to champion justice for others if it doesn’t directly translate to justice for us?
- Jesus announced good news for all people, but when the good news is really for all people, it can feel threatening for some. Why do you think that is?
Spend the next week praying the simple prayer that “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Then ask yourself, what of my kingdom do I need to let go of to see God’s Kingdom come?
The conversation may move toward a discussion around white privilege. Should you be open to this, here are a few resources to review.