|About the Book|
How do we become acquainted with a stranger? How does that stranger become a friend? And how does that friend become a member of your family? The story of Jesus Christ has been told and retold to believers who walked side by side with him before hisMoreHow do we become acquainted with a stranger? How does that stranger become a friend? And how does that friend become a member of your family? The story of Jesus Christ has been told and retold to believers who walked side by side with him before his resurrection as well as by people like you and me who have encountered this same Christ in all manners of people and places in our lives. Yet how do our personal stories, interactions, and private narratives ever come close to providing the full and true identity of Jesus from Nazareth, who was called the Messiah, the Son of God, the true light in the darkness? The four gospels we encounter in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, each take a unique approach to addressing this question of identity as they seek to share the good news of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension with the world so that all might believe. The gospels are as varied as the people who have come to follow Jesus these past two thousand years and we should never limit our view of Christ to one story, one moment, or one account. We see, hear, and interact with Jesus together and alone, through the gospels and through our community. There is something extremely powerful about sharing a story together. When reading a book aloud with my children, there are shared words that spark our individual imaginations to picture, envision, and dream what is or has occurred. The same holds true when we read the words from scripture together as a community. This year, the congregation at The Peoples Church of East Lansing is reading the fourth gospel together as a community. Each day includes a passage from John’s good news account of Jesus and with each passage, we have thoughts to ponder and questions to consider. We will continue this journey through John as we wrestle with the identity of Jesus yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are indebted to our associate pastor, Drew Filkins, for his tireless work on this project. Each day, Pastor Drew offers initial thoughts to prepare us for the daily reading before listing the passage scheduled for the day. After reading the selection, he leaves us with questions to discern and pray over during our day. Let this study be an opportunity for you to become reacquainted of the Christ who came for all people in order to reconcile them back to God, to one another, to ourselves, and to creation. Thank you for joining with us in this journey and may God bless your interactions with the living Lord who continues to lead us to the promised kingdom of peace.