5-19-19 Jesus Sightings – Surprised by God’s Touch!

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of following Jesus. Core Point: At times, God surprises us with a unique touch of grace. What do we do with that touch? Tell someone! Start point: Gospel overview: The Gospel of Matthew was most likely written sometime in the decade of 50 A.D. The Gospel narratives were probably written to help people remember the story from actual witnesses. Most likely, decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the stories about Jesus had morphed into half-truths. Each Gospel had many similar stories but with a unique perspective from the eye witness. The author, Matthew, was most likely one of the disciples and worked as a tax-collector.  Matthew, because of his vocation, would not have been held in high esteem.  Much like how we view the IRS in the U.S., we love the IRS, right?  Matthew’s Gospel appears to … Read More

5-12-19 Jesus Sightings – Surprised by God’s touch!

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of following Jesus.   Core Point: At times, God surprises us with a unique touch of grace. What do we do with that touch? Tell someone!   Start point: Gospel overview: The Gospel of Luke was written sometime after 60 A.D. and before 70 A.D. The Gospel narratives were probably written to help people remember the story from actual witnesses. Most likely, decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the stories about Jesus had morphed into half-truths. Each Gospel had many similar stories but with a unique perspective from the eye witness. The author, Luke, was most likely a physician and worked with Paul on a missionary journey.  Luke wrote a companion letter, which is called Acts, after the Gospel of Luke was written. Both letters, Luke wrote to Theophilus which means “God’s Friend.”  There is speculation that … Read More

5-5-19 Jesus Sightings – Called by name to move forward!

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of following Jesus. Core Point: A name is important for the deepening of a relationship.  The hearing and saying of a name helps a person know she or he is real and somebody. Start point: Gospel overview: The Gospel of John was the last narrative written out of the four Gospels, sometime after 70 A.D. and before 90 A.D.  The Gospel narratives were probably written to help people remember the story from actual witnesses. Most likely, decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the stories about Jesus had morphed into half-truths. Each Gospel had many similar stories but with a unique perspective from the eye witness. The Gospel of John emphasized Jesus as the Christ and Son of God. The people that received this writing were Christians who were struggling with the influence of the Jews who did … Read More

4-28-19 Jesus Sightings – Fruit of the Spirit: It is a lifestyle!

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of following Jesus. Start point: Galatians Context Galatians was written by Paul with an estimated date of 55 A.D to 60 A.D.  Paul founded the churches of Galatia during his missionary travels in Asia Minor. Galatia was not a city, but a Roman province located in what is now north-central and northeastern Turkey. Galatian converts were former Gentile pagans and knew very little about Mosaic Law and Judeo Christian practices. Paul came to them unexpectedly and shared the message of Christ to them. The Galatians accepted the message joyfully, were baptized and experienced dramatic transformation by the work of the Holy Spirit. The people of Galatia yearned to be free.  The letter to the Galatians gives us the roadmap of what being free in Christ can look like. In this profound letter, Paul proclaims the reality of our liberty … Read More

4-14-19 Works in Progress – The Naked Truth

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of Lent. Core Point: Lent is a good way to form a new habit, or Godly discipline, which helps an individual to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. There is a tradition of reading the passion narrative before Easter.  So the scripture to read next is Mark 14–15.  While you read, take in the drama of the event with the abuse of a governmental and religious system, the denial of relationships, and the torture of Jesus the Christ.  Read it all at once and then again in short passages throughout the week.  Prepare for Resurrection Sunday by living through the Cross.   Reflect on this Scripture: The Plot to Kill Jesus 14 It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way … Read More

4-7-19 Works in Progress – Want to be Great?

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of Lent.   Core Point: Lent is a good way to form a new habit, or Godly discipline, which helps an individual to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.   Reflect on this Scripture: Mark 10:35-45 (NRSV) 35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are … Read More

3-31-19 Works in Progress – What We Argue About

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of Lent.   Core Point: Lent is a good way to form a new habit, or Godly discipline, which helps an individual to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.   Reflect on this Scripture: Mark 9:14-29 (NRSV) 14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do … Read More

3-24-19 Works in Progress – Why We Are Here

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of Lent. Core Point:  Lent is a good way to form a new habit, or Godly discipline, which helps an individual to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.   Reflect on this Scripture: Mark 8:27-36 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 27 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” 28 And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.”  30 And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. 31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be … Read More

3-17-19 Works in Progress – The Woman Who Was Healed

kthomasCommunity Study

Scripture Mark 5:24b-34 (NRSV) And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” He looked all around to see who had … Read More

3-10-19 Works in Progress – The Faith Reality

kthomasCommunity Study

Overarching theme:  Living a year in God’s presence through the practice of Lent. Core Point: Lent is a good way to form a new habit, or Godly discipline, which helps an individual to live and love as more faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Scripture Mark 4:35-41 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the … Read More