Wednesday, April 16, 2020
Dear Faith Family,
Easter Sunday 2020 was certainly a surprising day for us here in East Texas! With the social distancing in place, it meant not getting to worship together as a faith family. Then with the tornado warnings in the morning and the wind event in the evening, it meant some of us were ending the day with a mess in the yard and without electricity in the house. It was a strange day! But if you remember, Pastor Shelley told us that Easter is not simply a holiday we celebrate but a reality we live. Surprises come with that kind of life. This week we want to live into that reality by considering the power of Jesus’ resurrection life for us right now.

Consider the fact that Jesus’ whole ministry was filled with surprises. Jesus did not very often do or say things you would expect. The reason for these surprises is he was ushering in a whole new way of life—an upside-down kingdom. The Old Testament law and sacrifices and prophets could all point to it, but it was not until Jesus actually came as a human being that we could actually see this way of life lived out.

We have been given the opportunity to reflect on this surprising, upside-down Jesus kind of life in ways we have not had the chance to consider before now. It is challenging for all of us in different ways, but what a chance we have to reflect and pray as people longing to know Christ and make him known.

This week our study from The Bible Project is taken from Luke 24. Below you will find the link to a short video and some discussion questions. Again, if you are a part of a Sunday School Class or Life Group, consider finding a way to connect online all together or in smaller groups or pairs. Please let me know if you need help with this! We have ways of getting you connected online.

If you are not in a class or group, contact a friend and see if they would be interested in joining you in a discussion of these themes. It’s not too late to start this week!

Here is this week's “Luke-Acts Series: Luke 24” video.
Discussion Questions

Scripture Reading: Luke 24
For Jesus' family and friends, the empty tomb and the risen Jesus himself were a shocking surprise. Despite Jesus preparing them for his death and resurrection, they simply couldn't imagine how Jesus' death fit into God's purpose. Luke’s resurrection account shows how the only way to embrace the risen Jesus is to let go of our normal ways of viewing the world. Only then can we open ourselves to the surprising power of God’s love for our world.
  • Personal Reflection: What do your spending and activities right now reveal about what you believe and value? Talk to God regarding what you feel defeated or delighted about in your reflection.
  • What do you think people expected Jesus to do or be like? How did he surprise them?
  • What are some of the assumptions you hold about life, God, or your future, that could be keeping you from seeing what Jesus might be up to in your life?
  • How does the resurrection life of Jesus bring hope for a different kind of life for us?
  • How do you see Jesus bringing this upside-down kingdom alive in you or in others around you?

Enjoy your time in God's Word!
Pastor Doug
Longview EPC