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Community Circle Inspiration Resource

November 18, 2020

You DO NOT need to use all or any of this. You can pick or choose or use it for inspiration for something else or take it in a completely different direction. Your groups are all meeting in different ways. Some via phone calls or texts, some via email, and some through virtual meetings. So, use this as is helpful. The main goal of these groups is connection and sense of community. If these resources help you have a deeper and more fruitful conversation or sharing – then great. 
Week of November 18 – This is the last one for now. We will suspend CC and MidWeek Scripture during Advent and decide after Christmas if it will resume.

Attached is our last weekly resource for 2020. We are encouraging community circle groups to take a break during Advent and attend all of the different Advent opportunities. Of course, if your group wants to continue to meet, no problem. I just won’t be doing the weekly readings and questions so maybe you can plan some other kind of content. Also, as we approach 2021, let us know how your groups are going. If you want to continue to meet as is or make any changes. We will do another invitation or call to folks who might want be interested in joining a group. Here is this weeks resource…

Readings: Matthew 25: 32 – 46 and the following excerpt from a book called The Upside Down Kingdom…

The values and norms of our society become so deeply ingrained in our minds that we find it difficult to imagine alternatives. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus presents the kingdom as a new order breaking in upon, and overturning, old ways, old values, old assumptions. If it does anything, the kingdom of God shatters the assumptions which govern our lives. As kingdom citizens we can’t assume that things are right just because “that’s the way they are.” The upside-down perspective focuses the points of difference between God’s kingdom and the kingdoms of the world.

A false split between spiritual and social leads to a warped reading of the Scripture. It tempts us to turn Jesus’ message into sweet, spiritualized syrup. Such a twist can dilute the truth, making it harmless. We marvel at the atoning death of Jesus but forget that it came about because he demonstrated a new way of living.

In fact, any gospel without feet isn’t gospel. God’s love for the world produced social action. God didn’t just sit in a great theological rocking chair and muse about loving the world. God acted. God entered social affairs—in human form. Through Jesus, God lived in a real social environment. Jesus in essence disclosed God’s social habits. In the incarnation, the spiritual became social.

Questions:
1. In the church calendar this coming Sunday is known as Christ the King or the Reign of Christ Sunday. This king and kingdom language is foreign at best and problematic at worst for us. How do you or do you understand Christ as king and the concept of the kingdom of God?2. The book the Upside Down Kingdom makes the case that Jesus’ gospel makes the spiritual social and argues that God’s “kingdom” looks really different from human ones. How is it different and how do you understand that concept of the spiritual being social?

3. This famous passage from Matthew’s gospel is known as the “sheep and the goats” passage. It is a poignant one and a tough one because of the harsh judgement. What do you make of it?

4. How does Jesus make the gospel “social” in this passage? What is his emphasis?

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November 18, 2020
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