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Porterbrook | Reading God's Story Units 7-9

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Alright...this week winds up the Reading God's Story: Introducing Exposition and Biblical Theology module. 

Unit 7 discusses the promised "place" that God has for us. Our middle daughter, age 4 1/2, is named Eden so the line on p. 48 was particularly fun to read: "Eden is a place of  beauty ('pleasing to the eye') and provision ('good for food'). It is a  place of security." The description of being 'in Christ' as a location was particularly helpful as well. Stay tuned as this will be helpful in our upcoming series on Ephesians starting in a few weeks. And how great is this promise for life in Christ and the Church: "There are no needy people in the place of God's blessing - whether the land or those in Christ - when God's people live in joyful obedience to him"? Sounds like a "new city" to me!

Unit 8 unpacks the promise of a kingdom. Jesus spoke a LOT about the Kingdom of God. I am always struck by the power of Jesus' call at the beginning of his ministry: "The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and belive the good news!" (Mark 1:15) This unit does a good job of highlighting the already/not-yet aspect of God's kingdom as well as the way the kingdom confronts our expectations and our personal resistance to submission to authority; the kingdom HAS come, the kingdom IS coming, the kingdom WILL come in completion.  

Unit 9 brings us back around to mission. God's blessing for his people is not just FOR his people alone but to bless the nations as well. We are blessed to be a blessing. But our relationship with the nations is a strained and complex one. We are to be "in the world but not of the world." Through the Church the gospel is to be spread throughout the world to the nations. It's been said that in the Hebrew Scriptures the call was "come and see" whereas now the call to the church is "go and tell", as the authors describe on p. 77.

These last four units, 4 through 6, all helped me reflect on and dream about all that our particular local church name, New City, means. What a wonderful, awful (as in awe-filled), awesome task God has called us to; to celebrate Christ and serve Cincinnati so that we can help people get a foretaste of God's "new city!"

What was particularly meaningful/challenging/provocative for you in these units or the whole module? What questions do you have that you might like to dicuss at our seminar next week? 

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The opening of Unit 8 really resononated with me today as it was talking about Eve as the serpent lies to her in the Garden. His lies were the same "then" and they are "now." Trying to get us to believe that God is not trustworthy. It was interesting to me how food was involved and how the fruit was not the issue but rather what it represented. I can say as Eve's descendant that I still struggle with that very issue each day as I struggle to make wise choices in what I put into my body. I can be tempted to believe that God cannot be trusted with this weakness or that that He is unconcerned with this area of my life. What I do about it shows what I'm truly believing about God.

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