From the series, "Eating and Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. One dimension of the ancient art of hospitality is using food to do justice. Though Jesus’s ambition was to use the dinner table as a tool to do good, he was well aware that it was also being used to do injustice. The same is true today: Everything you eat has a story. How can we, as disciples of Jesus, break our food’s relationship with injustice in order to do good, eating and drinking?
From the series, "Eating and Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. Jesus said we are to “love your neighbor as yourself.” What if he meant our actual neighbors? What if we were to reimagine our homes not as a castle to hide in, but as an outpost for the kingdom of God? And our tables as a tangible expression of love? Our meals as the setting where strangers become neighbors and neighbors become brothers and sisters?
From the series, "Eating & Drinking" as part of Practicing the Way. Jesus “came eating and drinking.” If he had a “method of evangelism,” that was it: eat a meal with people far from God. And all through the New Testament, apprentices of Jesus are commanded to follow his example through the practice of hospitality. Something as radically ordinary and setting a table can create space for people far from God to experience the Father’s warm welcome into his family.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." What does it look like to have heaven invade earth? How do we receive the kingdom and how do we give it to others? Jesus shows us what this looks like when he confronts people on the margins of society through the miracle of healing.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." Jesus ends his manifesto of life in the kingdom of the heavens, not with a pep talk or feel-good story, but with a warning about what happens when we don’t put his teachings into practice. In the “information age” and a cultural moment where hearing something and then doing nothing about it is the new normal, this is a warning we need to hear and heed.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." The modern world is a terribly confusing place to call home. We need luminaries to speak on behalf of reality and point the way to the good life. First century Jews called these luminaries "prophets." We might call them philosophers or psychologists or podcasters or pastors. But Jesus issued a stern warning: beware of false prophets. A warning we need to hear and heed in the modern church.
From the series, "Forgiving As We Have Been Forgiven" as part of Practicing the way. In our final teaching, we flip it around from forgiving people who have hurt us, to reconciling with people we have hurt. In a cultural moment of victimization, it's all to easy to blame shift and make excuses, but the invitation of Jesus is to journey down the long, slow road of reconciliation.
From the series "Forgiving As We Have Been Forgiven" as part of Practicing the Way. One of, if not the greatest, gifts we receive as apprentices of Jesus is forgiveness. But to Jesus, this is a gift we are to pass on to others. His end goal is for his apprentices to grow and mature into the kind of people who are forgiving by nature. But this is hard to do! In this teaching, we move from the idea of teaching to the practice of it. Using a five stage process called R.E.A.C.H., we aim to replace the emotions attached to our wounds.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." If we're going to practice the way of Jesus, we must recognize that the way of our city and the way of Jesus are not the same. In a culture where the mantra is, "Do whatever feels good", Jesus invites his followers through the narrow gate and on the hard way because it alone leads to life.