When we read the four Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – it is clear that one of these is not like the others; one of these does not belong. And, hopefully, if you went to four churches, including Church in the Cliff, you would think the same thing. I don’t think this is a coincidence. Maybe it is the influence of our good friend, Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, but I have always felt that our church and John’s church were of a kind.
The bulk of the Western church tradition is rooted in the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Matthew, in particular, is singled out as “the Church’s Gospel.” In these Gospels, we find ideas of service, sacrifice, and righteousness. However, too often those traditions turn into abuse, powerlessness, and judgment. And there is considerable warrant for such things in the Synoptics if read through a particular lens. John offers a different vision of the Church and the Christian life.
We’ll spend the next four weeks exploring John’s vision of the Church as friendship, love and oneness. We’ll start this week with an introduction to John, particularly focusing on John’s alternative story of the coming of the Holy Spirit in John 20:19-23. Through this story, we will come to understand John’s idea of the Christian life as one of ongoing mutual self-revelation and self-giving in community.
Please join us this Sunday, 11am at the Kessler.
Grace and Peace,