Jaffa: Tabitha’s (Dorcas) resurrection thru Peter

 

Jaffa-Joppa-Yafo-St-Peters-Church-tower

Posting continues here of one photo per day from my recent trip to Israel. My intent is to do so (with rare, brief intermissions) for the next several months. Read the text along with each day’s pic and by the end of this posting series you’ll have taken a bit of a trip to Israel yourself! The postings will generally follow the order of the trip’s actual itinerary.

If you’re familiar with the Bible, you likely recall the account of Peter raising Tabitha [aka: Dorcas] from the dead (Acts 9.36-42). What you might not recall is that this happened in Joffa (Joppa; Yofa) and what you might not know is that the traditional location of this happening is where St. Peter’s Church now stands in Jaffa.

LIFE group guide: the forgotten verse

 

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow night (April 14). This guide will enable your follow-up in our LIFE groups of my sermon tomorrow morning from Philippians 3.8-11: The Forgotten Verse. Look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous discussion guides. All Scripture texts reproduced below are from the CEB.

Aim

To examine familiar Scripture more closely, so as to correct common misunderstandings.

Word

… I consider everything a loss in comparison with the superior value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have lost everything for him, but what I lost I think of as sewer trash, so that I might gain Christ and be found in him. In Christ I have a righteousness that is not my own and that does not come from the Law but rather from the faithfulness of Christ. It is the righteousness of God that is based on faith. The righteousness that I have comes from knowing Christ, the power of his resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings. It includes being conformed to his death so that I may perhaps reach the goal of the resurrection of the dead. (Philippians 3.8b-11)

Open

Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. Complete this sentence: “If someone went through my garbage bags each week, they’d likely be surprised as to just how much ________ I throw away.”

2. Tell us about one of your great “glory” moments in life, or, if you prefer, one of your experiences of profound “humiliation.” Be silly or serious, either one.

3. Tell us of some “good trade” you’ve made in life; a time you truly “traded up.”

Dig

These questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.

1. Compare different English translations of the phrase “sewer trash” (vs. 8). What other renderings do you find used?

2. What is a Christian’s righteousness, or if you please, where does it come from?

3. What does it mean to experience the power of Christ’s resurrection (vs. 10)?

4. What does it mean to participate in Christ’s sufferings (vs. 10)?

5. From this text, make a list of everything Paul experiences, or wants to experience, in Christ (vs. 8-11).

Reflect

These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.

1. What has following Christ cost you, that upon looking back, you’re glad you lost?

2. What does it mean to you to know that as a Christian, your righteousness is not really your own, but that of another, given to you?

3. Paul said he had a righteousness “that does not come from the Law” (vs. 9). In what ways have you attempted (or seen other Christians attempt) to “get your righteousness” from sources other than Christ himself?

4. Do you face anything that tempts you on a continual basis to renounce the superior value of Christ? That is, is there anything you sense tugging at you all the time to leave Christ and live life with it, and without him?

5. You’re talking with someone who is yet to believe and they say to you: “I often hear Christians talk about ‘knowing God’ or ‘knowing Christ.’ What does it mean to ‘know Jesus?’” How would you reply?

6. What consistently underscores in your mind the superior value of knowing Christ?

LIFE group guide: because he’s risen …

 

NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow night (March 31). This guide will enable your follow-up in our LIFE groups of my sermon tomorrow morning: Because He’s Risen … Look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous discussion guides. All Scripture texts reproduced below are from the CEB.

Aim

To ponder some of the implications for our life of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Word

• Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11.25-26)

• We proclaim to you the good news. What God promised to our ancestors, he has fulfilled for us … by raising up Jesus. … Therefore, brothers and sisters, know this: Through Jesus we proclaim forgiveness of sins to you. … through Jesus everyone who believes is put in right relationship with God. (Acts 14.32-33a,38a,39)

• Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus. What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. So encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4.13-18)

• May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time. … You are being made into a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1.3-5; 2.5)

Open

Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. What was Easter Sunday like for you when you were small? How was it spent?

2. What is one of the most difficult things you’ve come to believe in, or about, life?

Dig

These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.

1.  Imagine the four texts above are meant to answer questions. What are the questions?

2. List the specific benefits named in the preceding texts due to Christ’s resurrection.

Reflect

These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.

1. When you think of Christ being resurrected, what first comes to your mind? Why?

2. Most people believe God is. So why is it hard to think he raised one from the dead?

3. What’s a question you continue to have related to the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

4. To you, what is the most persuasive evidence that Jesus is truly risen from the dead?

5. When does his resurrection have the greatest impact: now or in the future? Why?

this went thru my mind

 

Christian symbolism: Get Your Crane Bumper Sticker? by Nijay K. Gupta

“The crane became a symbol of renewal and resurrection in early Christian iconography because its migratory flight announced the coming of spring. The crane is also a model of Christian vigilance.”

Church: * What Holds the Church Back from Success? by Terry Rush; * 5 Issues that Keep a Church from Growing by Ron Edmonson

* “Jesus believed and did many things not balanced; not safe. … He was executed because he refused to abide by the rule-of-thumb balance which is really spelled s-a-f-e-t-y.”

* “I am frequently asked, especially by pastors in declining churches, what keeps a church from growing … what causes a church to decline. … Here are 5 issues that can keep a church from growing.”

Elections, politics & voting: * Thou Shalt Follow These 10 Commandments of the Presidential Election by Eugene Cho; * Vote Like a Christian by Justin Simmons; * Why I’m Not Voting by Branson Parler

* “The Presidential election is only weeks away…and it’s getting ugly out there. I mean … really ugly. And before you think I’m just talking about the political process, the political parties, or the respective candidates, I was actually talking about you, me, us, and them…the people. And by people, I’m also especially talking about Christians.”

* “With no party having a monopoly on morality, how do I decide how to cast my vote in a way that reflects a commitment to my faith?”

* “First, I will not vote because the nature of the political system, especially surrounding presidential politics, is grounded on a different set of values than Scripture. … Second, I will not vote as a symbolic gesture regarding the relative importance of the political system. … the heresy of nationalism or civil religion is not a fringe position, but a standard creed of American Christians, whether Democrats or Republicans, mainline or evangelical.”

Lord’s Prayer & women: Can Patriarchalists Pray the Lord’s Prayer? by Richard Beck

“I expect that … a lot of the men (and women) who preach 1 Tim. 2.12 as normative for the church actually believe that Gal. 3.28 describes what heaven will look like. That is, I don’t think most patriarchalists, at my church at least, think that men will have authority over women in heaven. They believe that men only have authority over women now, on the earth. And if that’s the case I return to my question: Can patriarchalists pray the Lord’s Prayer? Can they pray ‘Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven?’ and mean it?”

Marriage: 10 Things Wives Should Avoid Doing In Their Marriage by Trey Morgan

“I’ll have a list for the husbands later this week, but for now, wives … here are 10 things that wives tend to do that really hurt their marriage …”

War: Karl Menninger on War

“The whole war business is a horrible, irrational, despicable business, an archaic and traditional method of deciding a disputed point, whose survival is a disgrace to and refutation of civilization. … And the whole business is disguised in a cloak of romantic glory and sentiment which makes it palatable and even marketable, as fiction, drama, etc., and spoke of in terms of ‘pride’ and ‘glory.’”

this went thru my mind

 

Boredom & youth: Engaged in the Fascinating by Terry Rush

“… as a kid I wanted nothing to do with churches when I got older because of one thing; superficially boring. What has changed my perspective?”

Facebook: Facebook May Let Kids Under 13 Join With Parent’s Help by Ruger Yu

“Facebook is really going after the youth market.”

Frisbee: Frisbee – God’s Favorite Sport by Jon Acuff

“You’ve had that same thought too right? I’m not the only one am I?”

Preaching: If I Could Just Preach What I Really Believe … by Dan Bouchelle

“One of the secret dreams of many preachers and missionaries is having the freedom to preach exactly what they believe about every subject. Because few of us started a work from scratch, almost all of us find ourselves in a community of faith with some deeply ingrained beliefs and practices with which we disagree.”

Productivity: Five Ways to Cope With the Productivity Squeeze by Glynn Young

“The reality is that virtually all of us work jobs that used to be done by at least two or three people.”

Resurrection of Jesus: Things Which Ought to Be Better Known about the Resurrection (video)

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the central tenets of Christian faith. Yet Dr. Peter Williams is concerned that there are some important details the average Christian doesn’t understand very well. So, in this video lecture, he walks us through some of those issues.”

Sermons: 3 Questions to Ask When You Hear a Sermon by Wayne Stiles

“Even Jesus had listeners who missed it.”

Standing desks: * Best Standing Desks by Mark Lukach; * Ernest Hemingway’s Standing Desk [I use the exact same arrangement as Hemingway; now if I could only write like him]

* “… why would I want to buy a standing desk at all?”

* “Other famous users of standing desks included Winston Churchill, Lewis Carroll, Donald Rumsfeld, Charles Dickens, Otto von Bismarck, Henry Clay, Thomas Jefferson, John Dos Passos, and Virginia Woolf.”