In the last few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our entire world. For most of us, this means we can’t gather with our local church community. Below you’ll find one of our videos, suggested Scripture readings, and some discussion questions to use for yourself or with family and friends.

This week’s video and Scripture readings focus on the Gospel of the Kingdom. Sunday, April 5, is Palm Sunday, when we commemorate Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem that kick-starts the series of events leading to his death and resurrection. The sham trial of Jesus and his unjust execution seemed like a tragedy to his friends and family. Yet for Jesus, his death was an expression of the love of God as he entered into our suffering so that he could overcome it. In the story of Jesus, we are invited to see that even the most unwelcome and tragic events cannot thwart God’s plan to restore our world.
Listen
Gospel of the Kingdom
Message from Tim
-3:45
 
Watch
Gospel of the Kingdom
 
Read & Discuss
Scripture Reading One: Luke 19:28-48
The people expected Jesus to bring peace and rule as king in a way that they could understand. Jesus grieved over this because he knew they would suffer, and because he longed for them to see him as the true King through the suffering. Like Jesus, it’s okay to grieve over shattered expectations and suffering.
  • Take a moment and express any grief you’re feeling over suffering or shattered expectations.
  • Jesus is the King, despite the way the world looks right now. What questions does that bring up for you? What truths can you rely on at this time?
Scripture Reading Two: Isaiah 52:7-53:12
This passage proclaims that God himself is coming to rescue his people—and this is good news—but it will happen in a surprising way: God’s appointed one, the Messiah, will enter into the suffering and death of our world. There’s a lot of suffering and pain going on in our world right now. God enters into our suffering. He experiences it personally and is present with us and all those who suffer.
  • Write down or speak out loud where you see suffering and pain in the world and your community right now.
  • Now pray or speak out loud these same instances again, taking in the truth that God is present in those situations and suffers with us.
Scripture Reading Three: John 12:12-33
For Jesus, his suffering was the way God’s power and love should be shown to the world. The cross shows us that God’s ultimate response to human death and suffering was love: to die alongside us and for us, and to overcome death with his resurrection life. This is Jesus’ upside-down Kingdom.
  • What kind of things is Jesus doing for others in this passage?
  • Jesus calls his followers to do what he does. In what ways specifically can you suffer alongside others, or serve and love others?
 
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Slideshow shots by Ben White on Unsplash