Becoming more like Christ involves looking at all aspects of life. We cannot separate our spiritual lives from our material lives—God created the entire world, which means the entire world is important to God. There is nowhere clearer of this fact than the incarnation—divine love that brought our long-awaited Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus became human, born in Bethlehem, but he was brought from heaven where he lived in communion with God and the Holy Spirit.
Read: Genesis 1
God did not call creation “good” until after dry land was created; then each time something was added thereafter.
Qt: Why do you think God considered it “good” then?
Read: Genesis 1:28-31
God obviously delights in creation and matter.
Qt: What does that mean for how we relate to and treat the created world, animals, and people made in God’s image?
Qt: What do you find joy in creating?
Qt: Do you feel more alive and connected to God when you create something new?
Read: Re-read Genesis 1 and read Genesis 2
As you read, pay attention this time to the role of the Holy Spirit.
Qt: How does the Holy Spirit display value toward creation?
Genesis 2 is the story of Adam (meaning ‘man’) and Eve (meaning ‘living’ or ‘to breathe’).
Qt: What does it say about the Holy Spirit when breathing God’s life into Adam and Eve?
**As image-bearers, we have bodies—hands, feet, brains, and blood—that God uses to help us live spiritual lives and to facilitate spiritual growth.
Read: 1Corinthians 10:31
Qt: Why do you think Jesus spent so much time in obscurity and living a relatively normal life before entering public ministry?
Qt: In practical terms, do you ‘eat and drink’ or work or play for the glory of God?
What does that look like?
Qt: Do you separate your life into spiritual and nonspiritual activities?
For instance, going to worship or reading a ‘spiritual’ book as opposed to a football
game or playing cards with friends.
Qt: Do you believe Jesus did so?
Hint: Jesus made wine at a wedding; ate with sinners, went to natural secluded spaces in nature,
and provided fish and bread at meals with his disciples—all while attending synagogue and attending worship at the temple.
Qt: So, the obvious answer is ‘no, Jesus did not separate worldly activities from spiritual activities.
Read: Luke 6: 1-11
We know that God made the Sabbath for rest and worship. However, based on scripture, Jesus was reclaiming God’s definition of Sabbath by showing what was truly sacramental.
Qt: What do you see in this section of scripture that expands your idea of Sabbath/sacramental?
Qt: What might you change about Sabbath to encourage an expansion of the sacramental life?
Read: Luke 22: 14-20
A very familiar section of scripture that we use frequently! Jesus used common ways to show his presence to us.
Qt: What are some ‘common’ spaces or things in your life that God has made sacred through meeting you in them in a special way?
Qt: How does participating in communion/love feast shape your identity in Christ?
This next section focuses on how God calls us to expand our behaviors as sacramental people in a world that God calls ‘good’.
Read: Micah 6:8
I want to break this scripture into three pieces—justice, mercy, and humility—and think about what it means in Jesus’ life and in ours.
Qt: If you could simply define justice, what would it be?
Qt: If you have seen/been involved in an injustice, what steps would you take in order to move the situation toward a just solution?
Someone once defined mercy as ‘compassion for those in need—regardless of the reason for the need’.
Qt: What example might you give where Jesus offered compassion in a situation that we might not think was deserved?
Qt: Do you find it easier to offer mercy to an innocent victim than someone whose need is from making poor choices?
How would you like someone to respond to you if you made a poor choice?
Ignatius of Loyola said, ‘To be humble is to live as close to the truth as possible’.
Qt: Were you raised to admire humility or to avoid it?
Qt: What example might you give where Jesus was humble?
Jesus became a servant, emptying himself of his divinity to become human and serving others when he should have been the one served.
Qt: Think of a situation at work, in your family, or in church where you feel you must prove yourself. If you could ‘empty yourself’ like Jesus, how might you behave differently in that situation?
Qt: How does this behavior reflect a sacramental life?
An important aspect of following Jesus is recognizing God’s character: God’s holiness, beauty, gentleness, and grace. With this understanding, we can face our own frailties and faults without shame or despair. We can give up hiding from God’s love and forgiveness and be the people God calls us to be—dependent on God’s compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.
Read: Matthew 10:39
Jesus says we need to ‘lose our life’. Consider the ways in which you are tempted to hold onto your life—work, money, reputation.
Qt: What is Jesus asking you to ‘lose’ this week?
Read: 1 Peter 4: 10-11
“There is no area of human life that is separate from God’s concern and care. None.”
Qt: Do you separate the sacred from the secular?
Qt: Do you consider certain jobs or activities more sacred or spiritually important than others?
As you go through your day, consider the ‘mundane’ activities that you do. While doing them, invite God into the space. Make it an interactive conversation with the Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Where divinity is gathered, there can only be a sacred space.
This concludes our Bible Study on “The Six-Streams in the Life of Jesus”. I hope that you have found a deeper understanding of the Christ in our midst. I pray that you may know how loved you are and move forward in your spiritual journey as God calls you through the breath of the Spirit.
Grace and peace always,
Rev. Becky Guthrie