As we continue to journey through the book of Acts, we see the church increasingly persecuted and pushed out of their comfort zones to the margins where Jesus is not-yet-known. Up until this point, Jesus was for Jews. But no longer. Jesus is for the Gentiles. Jesus is for the downtrodden, the bad folks, the fakers, the religious, and everyone in between. The good news of Jesus was always meant for people on the margins -- for you and me.
Jesus for the Fakers
Have you ever felt like a faker? That you were hoping you could figure it out before everyone realized just how much you didn’t get it? Being confronted with the gospel of Jesus can expose our attempts to be something we are not while also offering a strange freedom to give up trying. What is the means of this freedom? Can it be for a faker like you and me? Listen in to join the conversation.
Jesus for the Outsider
This week we encounter the first non-Jewish convert to Christianity, and he's not at all who the early church was expecting. He's just as surprising and relevant in our twenty-first century world. Listen in as we reflect on the good news that Jesus is for the outsider.
Jesus for the Religious
Sometimes religion gets a bad rap and sometimes it should. Yet when done well religion can help build the necessary security, stability, and morality for a person to grow and develop in healthy ways. Still, at some point, everyones’ system of religion will fall prey to a life problem it cannot handle. At that point it is difficult to keep growing unless something more mysterious and less predictable can be accepted- an ever-enlarging view of what the world really might be like, a world where someone is in control but it is not you.
Jesus for the Unseen
The world was different before Jesus. The marginalized remained marginalize, and those in power remained in power. But as Jesus walked the earth the world saw huge cracks forming in the societal norms that ruled the day -- especially within the power structure of men and women. Jesus constantly saw people that were invisible to society, and elevated the marginalized to honorable places. Knowing this, the early church sought continue that work and do the same. Listen in as we unpack the story of Tabitha - a disciple of Jesus, and what her story means for us today.
Jesus for the Unclean
Have you ever thought, "That person is DEFINITELY not a follower of Jesus!"? If so, the Apostle Peter can relate. This is the chapter in Acts where everything changed. Jesus was for Jews...but for others, too? Listen in as we explore Peter and Cornelius' interaction, and learn what it means to call no part of God's creation "unclean."
Jesus for the Clean
In today's cultural climate a Christian who holds fast to "traditional" morals or faith can often be labeled as narrow minded, unintelligent or worse -all by other Christians! Many of these Christian "traditionalists" are just trying to live by their convictions; believing that truth is plainly revealed in the bible by God and that we must all simply align with it whether it suits us or not. This situation is similar to the Jewish Christians of the early church who were struggling to see Peter extending the hand of faith to Gentiles who lived completely out of sync with the standards and traditions they held so dear. "Just whom is Jesus for?"
Listen in as we wrestle through this sensitive topic.
Jesus for the Downtrodden
Have you ever felt pressed on every side...cornered without hope...a victim of the worst life has to throw at you? If so, you might can relate to Peter in Acts 12. And if so, maybe you can experience a God who is for you and with you in those pressed-down moments, just like Peter did.