Meeting Jesus: Christianity as Encounter

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Meeting_Jesus-CCCjpgWednesday Evenings, 6:00-7:30

pm, January 18-April 12, 2017 (Dinner Provided)

At its core, Christianity is about meeting Jesus. In the Bible, these meetings take center stage. To name just a few – Jesus meets two fisherman, a woman doing chores, a preacher, a rich man, a tax collector, two grieving sisters, a woman in pain, a soldier with a sick servant, two condemned criminals, a woman lost and alone.

The outcome of these meetings is often unexpected. Jesus challenges, heals, forgives, reconciles, and restores people right were they find him. Most often, the circumstances they find themselves in are changed, and they go away assured and joyful. Sometimes, however, meeting Jesus means changing their own circumstances and giving away all that they have so that they can follow him as closely as possible. Regardless of how the encounter turns out, Jesus invites each person he meets into a personal relationship that promises to transform them and make them new.

These meetings in the Bible reveal what Christianity means today. More than a set of beliefs or traditions, Christianity is built around a living relationship each of has with Jesus – and that we have with each other and our world through him.

By revisiting these encounters in the Bible we can reflect on all the ways that we meet Jesus today. For this reason, the aim of this course is to present Christianity in terms of the encounter(s) we experience when the words we read in the Bible become embodied in our lives.

Admittedly, we do not meet Jesus in exactly the same way as people did when he physically walked the earth. Now, we meet Jesus in those places where he is found – in the Bible, at Baptism and Communion, in our shared life with each other and in our broken and chaotic world. These meetings, however, are just as profound and powerful as if Jesus was holding our face and cradling us in his arms – provided we approach them as encounters and invitations to live in personal relationship with him.

This course will meet Wednesday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm, from January 18-April 12, 2017. Each meeting will begin with an introduction to the biblical passages we will explore, followed by dinner and small-group discussion. All are welcome and guests are encouraged.