Early Christian mystics believed that God is born anew in every child. “Here comes God again,” they would say, “in deep disguise.” God wants to work the miracle of the Virgin Birth in every one of us. God wants to bring Jesus to life in every person and community. Just as the apple seed becomes the apple tree, and the lemon seeds become lemons, so too, the seed of Christ in a human being can grow into a little Christ. The promise of the gospel is that Jesus can live his resurrection life in us. We were created for the communion of union with God.
The Gospel According to Starbucks
- Do you see a life of opportunity in the birth of a child? Why or why not?
- Do you believe that God wants to share his life with us and for us to share our lives with him? Why or why not?
- What did Jesus come to bring?
- What kind of life is that?
- Do you experience that kind of life? Why or why not?
- Is it God’s desire for you to have that kind of life? Why or why not?
- How can you experience that kind of life?
- What did Jesus come to do?
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.'” “I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.
- Was the Spirit of the Lord on Jesus for a purpose?
- In what arenas had he been anointed?
- What had he been sent to proclaim?
- Was Jesus well-received by those who knew him?
- Does an authentic life have both “good” and “bad” times?
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
- We believe that through faith in Jesus we receive eternal life. But what is eternal life?
- Is it simply eternal existence?
- Is it to float on a cloud of purposelessness?
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.