Week 3: Truth & Action

April 25, 2021
Primary Text: 1 John 3:16-24
Big Idea of the Message: Christianity is about doing far more than believing.
In the post-resurrection world, we are called to be the incarnations and channels through which Christ is manifest in the world.  Theresa of Avila famously declared, "Christ has no body on earth but ours."  And it seems that his is the sentiment that the earliest followers of Jesus understood.  Unless we are willing to make our faith in the way of Jesus real through living the sacrificial life that Jesus taught, then how can we say we have been transformed by the gospel of Jesus? If we aren't willing to speak the truth about our addictions to wealth and power, then how can we say that our lives are centered on the agape--unconditional and equalizing love--of God?

Unless we are willing to follow the example of Jesus, sacrificing ourselves, our comfort, and our privilege fore the good of our "other," then we truly haven't understood Jesus.  And if we aren't compelled to follow in this path because of the overwhelming grace and love of God that we've experienced, then it is likely that we haven't truly encountered the world-shattering love of God.

Discussion Questions:
  • What thoughts or emotions come up when you hear the Theresa of Avila quote from above?
  • Read the following poem, "As Kingfishers Catch Fire" by Jesuit Priest Gerard Manley Hopkins:
    (If you have access to YouTube, watch this video of the poem with a short explanation of it afterward: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlPOHGvhekQ)
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is —
Christ — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

  • Talk about what it means to BE CHRIST to others.  What does that look like?
  •  Does this idea feel overwhelming to you?  How can we live out such an important calling?