Chapter 46

The Spirit leads us downwards.

That may come as a surprise to people who are raised in a culture that is obsessed with upward mobility. We climb social ladders. We rise to a higher standard of living. We reach for a higher position. We want to be on top. Some use drugs so that whatever their actual circumstances, they will at least feel high. Even our religious communities often have an ‘up, up and away’ mentality – flying away to heaven, leaving this old Earth below and behind...

Chapter 45

In the centuries after Jesus walked this Earth, theologians and mystics who reflected on Jesus’ life and teaching were faced with a paradox. They agreed there was only one God as their tradition had taught. But the oneness of the Creator wasn’t as flat or static as they had assumed...

Chapter 40

In the previous three sections of this book, we have placed ourselves in the story of creation, the adventure of Jesus and God’s peaceful uprising against the forces of fear, oppression, hostility and violence. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would take the work he began and extend it across space and time, creating a global spiritual community to keep welcoming and embodying what he called the reign or kingdom or commonwealth of God.

In this final section, beginning with the season traditionally known as Pentecost, we ask this key question: How can we participate with the Spirit in this ongoing spiritual movement?

Chapter 39

This is the last week in the THIRD QUARTER! Wow, how time is flying on our journey through scripture. There's some questions below to help you and your DNA group process the journey over this quarter.


Let us imagine ourselves in Rome, in about ad 64...


THIRD QUARTER QUESTIONS

If possible, compose prayerful, honest and heartfelt replies to these queries in private, and then gather with your DNA to share what you have written.

  1. Summarise the message of the Sermon on the Mount and what it means to you.

  2. Recount the events of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and their meaning for you today.

  3. What does it mean to you to make the Easter affirmation that Christ is risen indeed?

  4. What does it mean to you to be part of an uprising of fellowship and discipleship?

  5. What does it mean to you to be part of an uprising of worship and partnership?

  6. What does it mean to you to be part of an uprising of stewardship and hardship?

  7. How has your understanding of God and yourself changed through reading these notes and discussing as part of your DNA group?

Chapter 34

Matthew, Mark and Luke tell the story of Jesus in ways similar to one another (which is why they’re often called the Synoptic Gospels – with a similar optic, or viewpoint). Many details differ (and the differences are quite fascinating), but it’s clear the three compositions share common sources. The Fourth Gospel tells the story quite differently...

Chapter 32

Let’s imagine ourselves just outside Jerusalem. We are with Jesus and his band of disciples early on a Sunday morning. Jesus has walked many a mile since he taught us that day on the hillside in Galilee. He has told many a parable, answered many a question and asked even more. Earlier this morning, he did something really strange...

Chapter 31

Imagine that hillside in Galilee. Jesus is seated, surrounded by his disciples, a huge crowd circled around them. Perhaps it’s the rhythm and tone of his voice. Maybe it’s the pace of his words. Somehow they know he is building towards a climax, a moment of decision. He presents a series of vivid images, all in pairs...