August 3 , 2018
Studying the efforts of Job’s friends as they endeavor to comfort him helps us be aware of where we might run into trouble in similar circumstances. It also shows us how we can more faithfully represent God and more lovingly comfort the suffering.
Throughout the course of our lives, suffering deeply and intimately touches each of us both as individuals and as communities. “When will it end?” “Why me?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?” There are so many ways that we wonder, plead, ask for explanations, and seek to understand why we suffer and, further, why God allows suffering to continue in our world. In this Groundwork series, we’ll study Job, a story that exemplifies the struggle to understand the problem of suffering. In it, we’ll recognize our own questions about suffering, observe best practices for comforting those who are experiencing suffering, be uplifted by Job’s testimony of faith in spite of suffering, and receive God’s unprecedented response to our questions about suffering.
The book of Revelation is an intriguing, puzzling mystery to many people, especially those who try to use it to understand world events. But when we read Revelation merely to decipher the End Times, we miss much of what it offers. Think of it as a glimpse of what's already happening right now, a glimpse behind the scenes that’s meant to comfort and assure (and not scare) the believer. In this Groundwork series, we'll focus on two images of Jesus Christ presented in Revelation 5:5-6: Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and Jesus, the Lamb who was slain. Together we'll discuss what these seemingly contradicting images of Jesus tell us about who Jesus is and how they offer us comfort and assurance in our lives today.
What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it look like to have Christ in you? In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul offers a profound, yet simple list of nine Christian characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Any astute observer will quickly notice how the fruit of the Spirit, as Paul identifies them, stand in stark contrast to many of our current cultural distinctives. This Groundwork series seeks to understand each of the nine qualities as they are described and understood in scripture, as well as look at what they mean for those of us who identify as Christians, and how we can live as those who know Jesus Christ and are filled with his Holy Spirit.