Have you ever had the experience of missing something incredible that was staring you right in the face? You didn’t even know you were in the company of someone incredibly important till after the fact? In session 02 Rico tells about a fabulous opportunity to meet none other than… THE Prince William… but blew it because he didn’t recognize him. Sometimes we’re at a double disadvantage of not only having a vague grasp on someone’s identity combined with the presumption that we’d never have the occasion to be in their presence.
Learn more about Christianity Explored Omaha on our Facebook Page
It’s like that with the person of Jesus. Many today would struggle to name more than a couple of basic facts about Jesus even though he is arguable humanity’s most enduringly famous person. Combine that with the fact that nearly no one ever really expects him to actually show up in any sense of the word, and you have a person who could remain painfully anonymous and irrelevant to our world.
Do the New Testament documents give us a picture of an anonymous, irrelevant Messiah? On what basis did people in his day credit him with greatness? Why was his identity so consequential? How could he have gotten HIS birthday to become the marker our planet uses to measure the centuries by?
Rico takes us into the Gospel of Mark and looks at 5 key areas over which Jesus demonstrated divine authority. Bring a friend and come join us this week. Christianity Explored meets at Christ Community Church on Sunday mornings at 10:45 in room D-126.
This weekend kicks off a great opportunity for people interested in exploring the very basics about Jesus. Christianity Explored is a venue for spiritual seekers wanting to understand the person and teachings of Jesus Christ. Christianity claims at its core to be Good News. That’s what the word Gospel means. But what’s so good about Christianity in a world where many are so unsure about religion. Each week we’ll look at another section of Mark’s Gospel – one of the four original “biographies of Jesus” showing us who he was, what he said and what he did.
Christianity Explored meets weekly in Room D-126 at 10:45am (during the second service).
If you’d like more details about Christianity Explored, you can find out more info on the Facebook Page – Christianity Explored Omaha. This fall’s class will be facilitated by a team of trained leaders. Each week we’ll have time for conversation around tables and a short video segment followed by lots of time for your questions. Bring a friend – things are always more interesting with a crowd!
A wise mentor of mine one time totally blew my mind by comparing Christianity to a contagious disease! “Many claim to have the disease we call Christianity, but seem instead to have been exposed only enough to be safely inoculated from the real thing.”
In the concluding session of Christianity Explored, we’ll consider Jesus’ own definition of being a true follower. According to Jesus true followers not only embrace the identity of Jesus as the Son of God and God’s only chosen King. They also follow him as their leader. Following means two further painful things: i) denying self and ii) taking up one’s cross (self denial to the point of dying to self).
The trouble with so many people who claim affiliation with Jesus today is this: they simply don’t fit Jesus’ own definition of a true follower. They associate themselves with Jesus through an extremely shallow understanding of Christianity. Almost like being injected with a dead virus! The immune system recognizes the attack and quickly summons the anti-bodies necessary to fend it off. On the outside, maybe the person’s temperature elevates for a while till the threat has been dealt with. But life as usual resumes now equipped for all future threats of exposure.
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34-35 NIV)
Many who call themselves Christians today are like an inoculated patient. Contending with a mild dose of the virus, but not displaying the full symptoms. Perhaps inducted into the culture of Christian surroundings, but not fully convinced of Jesus identity. Not fully prepared to follow his leadership. Come check out the last session of Christianity Explored and wrestle with what getting the real disease involves!
Christianity Explored meets at Christ Community Church, 9:00 and 10:45 in room D-126.
“The disciples believed they would never again see Jesus alive. Pontius Pilate, the centurion, Joseph of Arimathea and the women…were all absolutely certain Jesus had died. But what happened 36 hours later?”
The resurrection of Jesus is so profound because of the undeniable fact of Jesus’ very public death. At this point, Christianity stands or falls entirely on the claim of his resurrection. What do we make of the Gospel accounts and other New Testament documents noting over 10 post- resurrection appearances? What do we make of the faith of the original disciples if they were forced to fabricate these events? What do we make of the faith of those who are transformed by belief in the resurrection of Jesus today? What personal meaning is there in the resurrection of Jesus for people today in the face of life’s fragile experiences?
Come check out week 5 of Christianity Explored. D-126 at 9:00 or 10:45 or noon.
…you’ll relate to him in all the wrong ways.” Rico Tice.
Ever had the chance to meet someone really famous, but you missed it because you didn’t recognize them in time? The problem isn’t that you weren’t in their presence. They stood right there in front of you. But you didn’t even know who you were looking at till later. At the time you assumed you didn’t NEED to know who they were!
That’s what its like to look at Jesus, but not recognize his true identity. In session 02 we’ll continue exploring the Gospel of Mark by asking, “Who Jesus is?” Seems simple enough, but in a and age when so few (who even attend church) really understand who Jesus is, its more crucial than ever to answer the question of his identity.
Come join in the discussion at Christianity Explored – meets Sundays at 9:00 or at 10:45 or at during the cafe at 12:15. Look for us in room D-126. Bring a friend. If you come during the cafe hour, bring a few bucks for lunch.
For more info about Christianity Explored, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Or text your inquiry to: 402-285-5743
Interested in Christianity but need a safe place to ask your honest questions? Christianity Explored is a discussion based group investigating the life and teachings of Jesus. You’ll be in the company of other spiritual seekers. No prior knowledge of the Bible or Christianity is required. You’ll not be made to read anything, sing anything or pray out loud. You can ask any question you want. The Gospel of Mark from the Christian Bible is our source material. A trained facilitator will guide each session. Each meeting is about an hour long and includes a short video presentation with discussion questions.
Christianity Explored at CCC
Christianity Explored groups will meet on Sundays at Christ Community Church Starting April 3rd through May 22nd in Room D-126 Come at 9:00am or at 10:45 or you could grab a lunch at the café and join the 12:15 group (whatever fits your schedule best). If you have questions about Christianity Explored or want to make sure we know which class you’re interested in feel free to text: 402-285-5743. Or contact email@example.com
Christianity Explored at Do Space
Do Space groups will begin Thursday, April 7th at 7:00pm in the Large Conference room to the right of the main entrance. Do Space is located on the corner of 72nd and Dodge Streets. http://www.dospace.org/
We’re nearing the end of our series Simply Unconvinced. In the closing weeks we’ll be centering on the events of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. This week we’re looking at Pilate. As the Roman governor in charge of the Fifth Praefectus of Judaea, it was Pilate’s responsibility to enforce the Roman military occupation over the Jews in his territory. The list of things Pilate was uncertain and Unconvinced about was dangerously long.
Pilate was unconvinced of…
1- the validity of the capital offense Jesus was charged with by the Jews.
2- that Jesus’ was a legitimate king (Pilate recognized only Herod)
3- what a Messiah was supposed to be. He took the word of the Sanhedrin that Jesus was claiming to be God.
4- how dangerous Jesus actually was to himself. Jesus was powerless as an insurrectionist.
5- his own moral guilt in having Jesus executed (he deferred responsibility as much as possible).
6- the fact that Jesus was harmless. Jesus’ claim to a non-earthly kingdom did somehow unsettle him.
7- the need to protect Jesus. In the end he deemed it a lesser risk to execute Jesus than let him live.
Without understanding what the death of Jesus really meant, he cracked under the pressure of needing to do something to regain control of the Jews. Pilate would give the word to end Jesus’ life, but that was just the beginning of his troubles.
Come find out more about how Jesus’ death plays out. What became of Pilate? How will history remember him? What did the resurrection of Jesus mean for the Roman power system that put him to death?
Unconvinced meets Sundays at 10:45 in room D-126.
Come on out and bring a friend.
Week 11 – Text
Week 11 Handout
This week in Unconvinced we’ll trace some of Jesus’ final steps from the upper room to the Mount of Olives…and right back to the house of Caiaphas the High Priest. The events of the Passion of Christ are laced with irony atop of irony. One of the most difficult things to keep track of in the closing events of Jesus’ earthly ministry is that Jesus had to die. It was the Father’s plan. Though from God’s perspective not accidental, the trail and execution of Jesus was fraught with bumbling miscarriages of justice. A sloppy trial with rigged testimony. A pay off to an inside traitor by the highest panel of religious authorities. The very people Jesus is King over, are shouting for his crucifixion – with their religious leaders yelling the loudest.
Unconvinced meets at 10:45 in room D-126. Come join us, bring a friend and your questions.
The beauty of the willing death of Jesus is this. Although completely innocent of his charges, although initially acquitted by the Romans for lack of evidence, although the very thing hateful religious leaders demanded…and although the pinnacle of Satanic lust… the execution of Jesus was the day death itself was put to death in the cosmic justice of Yahweh! No one sincerely following Jesus thought Good Friday was the final act of a victorious Messiah.
The compelling heart of the Gospel is that in spite of what humanly speaking looked like a tragic mistake, Jesus willingly gave his life in the most humiliating way thinkable. Humanity’s choice forever after is to embrace the embarrassing mess that carried forward the love of God to pay for our sin…or to reject it all as non-sense. To be convinced of the Cross of Christ is to own the will of the Father to have his Son suffer for us and in spite of our ugly and hateful insistence that he die.
Week 10 Handout
Week 10 – Text
One week from today we kick off a four-week training experience called Intersections. Intersections is a way to grow in every aspect of being a more effective spokesperson for the Christian faith. We’ll look at how to use our story in sharing the Gospel with others. We’ll check out a new tool called Big Story that summarizes the message of Christianity in a convenient app that you can download to your device. We’ll practice simple skills like asking good questions. We’ll also unbox a seeker discussion group tool called Christianity Explored. With all this packed in to the workshop, we have to charge a mere $10 for the materials participants will receive and use. The link to register on-line is below. If you don’t yet have a MyCCC Account with Christ Community, it’s worth the couple extra minutes to sign up so you can pay on-line and be ready to go for the workshop. If you have any questions about Intersections, feel free to give me a shout. Tim Perry – firstname.lastname@example.org
To register for Intersections: http://cccomaha.org/newsfeed.php?id=1790
Not sure you can believe everything you read on the internet (including posts from church pastors like me) but according to my painstaking research over the past 12 minutes on Google, the worlds most expensive grapes are the Ruby Romans. Ever heard of Ruby Roman grapes? Me neither till 12 minutes ago. According to an article in the Japan Times a couple paid over $5,000 for a single cluster of 30 golf-ball sized Ruby Romans for their wedding reception.
This week in Unconvinced we’re finishing up the 8 “I Am” statements of Jesus. I am the true vine (#8) claims Jesus. He who remains in me will bear MUCH fruit. But in the same breath Jesus says that apart from him, you can do nothing. Branches that bear no fruit (much less $180 per grape Ruby Romans) are cut off, picked up an burned!
Each week we’re discovering that Jesus’ identity claims are far more than mere pithy word-pictures tossed out by a flashy public speaker. In all 8 “I Ams” Jesus is making serious identity claims with huge implications for his listeners.
Week 6 resource sheet
Week 6 – Text
Come on out and join us this week. Unconvinced meets at 10:45 in Room D-126. Bring your questions. Bring your doubts. And bring a friend and join in the discussion. The above links are the resource sheets for last week’s session.