New followHim program in October

followHim—LIVING THE DIFFICULT DEMANDS OF DISCIPLESHIP

Four Wednesdays beginning October 8, 2014
CHRIST CHURCH, LUCKETTS VIRGINIA

Being a disciple of Jesus is hard work. He didn’t give us much leeway in his commands to follow Him.

But in that hard work is liberation, freedom, and room for a healthy, happy, loving life.
In this four session program we will explore four different things Jesus requires of us to be his disciple that certainly require much of us, but when understood and lived, also provide much to us.

Using the followHim* format for teaching and discussion, we will listen to each other talk about how we try to ‘just follow Him.’

Wednesday, October 8 — Matthew 6:25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Wait, is He telling us not to pay the mortgage? Not provide food for our kids when they go to school? Forget saving money for our retirement?
In many ways He is…but this teaching (like all of Jesus’ teaching) is not designed to cause pain for us. Rather this teaching talks to us about intention and why we worry about clothes and money and possessions. And how following Him can help us shake free from these things controlling us instead of us controlling them.

Wednesday, October 15 — Luke 6:30-31
“Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

What? Really? Give money to anybody that asks me to give them money? Even the homeless guy who will probably use it for liquor? My irresponsible cousin that can’t keep a job?
In short the answer is yes. Jesus is unequivocal about this. He doesn’t say give to some, or give when you want. He says give to everyone…
Jesus often uses language that shocks us to understand his teaching. This is one of those places where Jesus is turning the tables on the accepted understanding of compassion in his time.
But following this rather radical concept is liberating. It frees us in many ways…

Wednesday, October 22 — Luke 6:27-29
“But I say to you that listen, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also…”

No command has challenged us in the world today more than this one. In the face of Isis and the Taliban and attacks on us, we find it very difficult to follow this one; truth is we can’t conceive of turning the other cheek to those who terrorize innocent people.
But…isn’t this what Jesus is saying? He is pretty direct, as usual, about this…’do good those who hate you.’ How do we live this commandment in an increasingly dangerous and violent world?

Wednesday, October 29 — Matthew 5:16
“…in the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

Elsewhere Jesus orders us not to make a show of our religion. Isn’t this the opposite command?
No, not at all. In this command Jesus is telling us to show HIS face to others by the way we treat others and behave toward others and serve others. This command simply says
FOLLOW HIM.

*the followHim model of small group discussion depends less on someone instructing and more on listening to each other explain how they live the commands. At the beginning of the discussion there is a short teaching on the command, giving some historical background, then each is invited to speak in turn about how they try to live this command. We go around the circle listening to each other without commenting until it is our turn again…

The schedule for the evening—CHRIST CHURCH LUCKETTS
6:30pm Dinner
6:50pm Short Evening Prayer
7pm-8:25pm followHim discussion
8:25pm Short Night Prayer

This series is also being offered at Harmony United Methodist Church in Hamilton, VA for four Wednesdays beginning September 10, 2014

The schedule for the evening—HARMONY METHODIST CHURCH:
6-6:30pm Dinner together in the parish hall
6:30-7:25pm followHim discussion
7:25-7:30pm Short Night Prayer