A church in the city of Portland
Advent – Hope
The structure of Advent worship is designed to direct our longings to God, who promises peace, joy and love. In order to experience our longings as God’s promises we have to examine them to decide which desires lead us into true hope and which ones cause us to settle for false ones. The first week of Advent is all about that hope, which God will ultimately fulfill in Christ.
Count the Time
As we begin another year in the Christian calendar with advent we are reminded that God wants to draw history into the bliss of eternity. If we want to anchor our experience of the world in God it means counting time in a way that relates it to God's eternal purposes - and this is the reason for Scripture's use of Sabbath days, fasts, feasts, festivals and the Lord's Day. It's crucial that we learn how to count time and know why time counts, which is why Bread & Wine worships according to the seasons of the Christian year.
The Policies of Jesus – The Authority of the Kingdom
Jesus concludes his great political manifesto for the church with a call not to believe, but to act. Our actions measure our beliefs, and for followers of Jesus our political beliefs should be measured against the actions Jesus calls us to in His teaching.
The Policies of Jesus – The Power of the Kingdom
For Jesus there's only one measure of your political commitments - and that is the fruit of them. In Luke 6:43-45 He says if the quality of your advocacy doesn't bear fruit for His kingdom of economic grace, enemy love and restoration of both victims and offenders to the community, first in the church and then in the world, it's bad fruit. If what you are promoting and endorsing can't be justified by love, it is illegitimate fruit. And if the center of all your political action isn't a community of changed hearts, transformed by Jesus, you can't claim God as the source of it.
The Policies of Jesus – The Justice of the Kingdom
After spelling out the economy and foreign policy of God’s kingdom on earth, Jesus teaches His disciples about the foundational principles of His justice system - how disputes, conflicts and crimes to be handled under His rule. Mercy is the heart of all true justice. In this instruction He anticipates that great enactment of all his teaching, the cross.
The Policies of Jesus – The Foreign Policy of the Kingdom
As Jesus continues His message to His followers, spelling out the main positions in his political platform, He elaborates on His foreign policy - which is another way of talking about how we deal with our enemies in the kingdom of God.