Exploring our Faith: Who is Jesus?

By Amy Norton
March 21, 2019 - 3:12pm

Greetings to you and Peace, from the One who is and was and is to come!

We are continuing our Lenten exploration of our faith, discovering what it means for each of us personally and how we express it individually and collectively.

You can read more about this exploration and other Lenten opportunities here. On the first Sunday of Lent, we explored the question, "What is Faith?" Last Sunday, we asked ourselves, "Who is God?". This Sunday, we'll explore Jesus- who Jesus was, and who Jesus is.

Jesus asked his disciples, who do you say that I am?, and together we will explore who we as a community, and as individuals, say that Jesus is. The Gospels offer us some great starting points: Christ, Teacher, Shepherd, Redeemer, Messiah, peasant, friend, Light of the World, etc.

Some of these titles or images might resonate with some of us and rub others the wrong way- and that is the beauty of exploring faith as a community- there is room for all of our experiences and questions and doubts; one thing I think we can all agree on is that there is always room at the table.

Whether all you know about Jesus is that he loves you, or whether Jesus is someone you talk to every day, you have something important to add to the conversation.

Whether you find deep meaning, grace, and encouragement in the belief that Jesus died for our sins, or whether you just can't reconcile Jesus' agonizing torture and death with what you believe about God and salvation, you have something important to add to the conversation. As always, I look forward to exploring this question with you all, and deepening in our faith together.

See you Sunday,
Amy  

Who is God? Take-home questions

March 17, 2019, Second Sunday in Lent

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46: 1 & 10

God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’* And said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14

Who is God? Who first taught you about God?

What was your understanding?

What were your first images of God? Feel free to draw or write.

How have these images and understanding been helpful? How have they been unhelpful?

The Bible has many ways of describing God:

  • as Creator (Genesis 1 & 2),
  • as a friend of the family (stories of the families in Genesis),
  • as liberator and lawgiver (Exodus), as Savior, Ethicist, Healer, one Great Love (Gospels),
  • as a Spirit that connects us all (John 3, Acts 2),as light (1 John 1:5), as love (1 John 4:16),
  • as a mother (Psalm 131:2, Isaiah 49:15, 66:13)
  • and as mother animals (Hosea 13:8, Deuteronomy 32:11-12, Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34)

What ways are helpful for you to think about God? Why?

Your evolving notion of God

What events, influences, or people helped shape and re-shape your perception of who God is?

What key moments or experiences throughout your life have helped to broaden your understanding and deepen your relationship with God?

and/or How would you like to expand or deepen your image of God?  

Exercises to try this week

If you were going to teach a child or an alien being to planet Earth about God, how would you do it? What would you include? What would you exclude? What questions would you ask them?

God moments

What would be the qualities of a “God moment” for you, times when you see God at work in the world around you?

At the end of each day, record 1-3 times when you noticed God at work in your daily life.

Try talking to God every day, as honestly and directly as possible.

Write a letter to God expressing any doubts, worries, fears, hopes, joys.

Then write a letter back to yourself, imagining how God would respond to you.

 

Click here for the Lenten study archives.

Click here to listen to last week's sermon.