Todd Rutkowski, Vineyard Emerge Catalyst, joins us to talk about the Kingdom of God and how it intersects with daily life. A Kingdom Centric lens on life helps us understand that the “ACTIVITY OF GOD” is the center of God’s work on earth and that includes the church Gathering as well as what we find ourselves engaged with on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday too!
As we began reflecting last week, the bullseye of God’s desire for us is a statement by Jesus wherein he distills the whole thing for us by sewing together two principles: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
This week we’re going to dig deeper still into what loving God Wholeheartedly looks like.
Over the next little while, we’re going to be considering what it looks like to live a wholehearted life. Jesus, as always, is our centre. Jesus who clearly lived the most whole-hearted life that has been lived. Jesus who sometimes wrestled but never hesitated. Jesus who weighed the cost but never withheld. Jesus who stared down the scariest pathways but never flinched. Jesus who could have claimed the whole world as his own, yet gave everything for the sake of that world.
What would our lives look like if we lived into the promises and invitations of the Kingdom without reservation?
Two disciples are on the road, travelling to Emmaus in the days immediately following Jesus’ death. The resurrected Christ joins them on their way, and yet the two disciples don’t recognize him!! In fact this whole episode takes place on the very day of resurrection, though they don’t yet understand that he’s risen, only that something fishy has happened. A most incredible thing happens in the midst of their doubts and questions on the road.
There are seasons in post-resurrection life when we have a really hard time recognizing Jesus. Could it be that he is hiding in plain sight, engaging us in our questioning and uncertainty, anticipating the moment of insight and disclosure?
In this episode, we reflect on another aspect of Jesus’s Resurrection: All Things New.
Jesus promises an eventual eternal New Day, but there’s also language of “newness” throughout the scripture that we can experience in our lives now. These are echoes and tastes of the New Day we look forward to in the Resurrection of Jesus. Renewed promises. Renewed grace. Renewed wonder.
Scripture for further reference:
2 Corinthians 5:13-21
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Isaiah 43:18 English Standard Version (ESV)
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Isaiah 43:19 English Standard Version (ESV)
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 65:17 English Standard Version (ESV)
“For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
or come into mind.
Revelation 21:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Ephesians 4:24-25 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
The events of Easter Weekend form the foundation of everything we believe about Jesus. His profound and baffling work on the cross and the never repeated moment of His resurrection on Easter Sunday speaks a more profound word than anything else, anywhere. Join us Good Friday at 10am sharp for a 1 hour service reflecting on the death of Jesus, and then party with us Sunday morning as we celebrate the death-defeating act of Jesus.
He is Risen Indeed!
This week we look to ‘the way of the cross’, (that great paradox embedded in our respective Christian journey), to seek a fuller understanding of our identity. What kind of life was I created for? How do I find the life I was created for? How do I know that I know I’m living the life I was created for?
What is justice? In our culture we typically enact it through a series of restrictions and protections. We associate our laws of the land (restrictions & protections) with justice because we live in a broken, fallen world. In our culture, there is a lean towards “fairness” as the highest and best goal. And, there’s a strong case to make that we’ve made some progress on this front. But that system, while helpful in so many ways, falls drastically short of what appears to drive the idea of justice in the scriptures, particularly the idea of justice that is demonstrated in the person of Jesus on the cross.