Week 4: Challenges #BigRead12 #Koinonia


Last week did we achieve anything?  One read a bit more of the Bible, not as much as planned, but congratulated on progress! Bex did lots of new things – one that may seem odd is that she decided to listen to her body, not go to Boxercise and slept for 6 hours Friday afternoon! We’ve tried to more consciously say thank you this week too.

So Week 4

What do you think of when faced with the word ‘challenge’? How does your mind and body react?

We look for things to reduce challenge. Ewan mentioned that he found gung ho adrenalin annoying: “alpha male better than you competitive attitude”. We talked about how we can use cynicism & sarcasm as weapons. Others in the group saw the word/idea as a positive – in our work we encourage risk & challenge, inherently seeing it as a good thing, and that we grow through challenge.?Bex has always relished new things but right now don’t want any more / she’s trying to recognize that there are limits!!

Video Who is Jesus? Starts with many just a man, etc. There are some positives in the video – we thought it was as interesting construction for a video, and thought that the question that they were really asking “what does Jesus mean to you …”

Main Course

Tom Wright Video God loves us and has a plan for our lives. Jesus, however, says say no to own self, and that we need to ‘pick up our cross’. God doesn’t necessarily fulfil all our (earthly) dreams, but has a longer term aim.

In the West we’ve often forgotten that the challenge is to really deny ourselves, but is a daily experience for many others in the world. If we overcome other temptations, there’s a temptation to pride “oh I’ve done well”, but the focus needs to stop being on ourselves. We can’t be humble by trying. We should look at ‘the little ones’ for a reflection of the kingdom.

Bible reading Jesus questions “Who do you say I am?” If we’re ashamed of God now, so will he be when we meet him in heaven. The disciples: arguing about greatness, and noted that “The first shall be last”.

Krish Kandiah – Mark is like Jesus’ best bits – question is always who is this Jesus? Those at the time misunderstood him. If we clearly understand Jesus, we understand who we should be more. God clearly identified  Jesus at his Baptism.

Who was Jesus said to possibly be? Jesus wants us to make up our own minds as to who we think he is. The answer to the question impacts our lives.

1. What’s the most important characteristic of Jesus for you?

The most important we immediately said were: Grace and forgiveness. Continuity – we discussed what this meant – you know who he is/what he stands for. If we’re not committing = are we a part-time C

hristian? We should take steps, but we also know it’s not what we do – we are saved by grace. What are the hallmarks? The importance of Jesus’ open arms/accepting nature, and the fact that he was a rebel, and not a wet lettuce.

2) Why are the Pharisees arguing about Jesus’ identity?

They were trying to catch him out. They were probably scared, they know they’ve not been doing what they should have been doing. They were hypocritical – it’s why the story of the Good Samaritan works – it made sense to people at the time. He wasn’t what was expected – he  didn’t live by their rules.

Are Bishops  (always in the news) – the modern day Pharisees, with their Palaces & drivers? We noted there are some good ones!

3) What do you do in the name of Jesus? What shouldn’t be done in the name of Jesus?

What do you do in name of Jesus? WWJD – don’t ‘bite back’ when people hurt you – try & find resolution. Stand up to fundamentalist atheists, but listen. Look at Bible etc. to be what we think Jesus should want us to be like.

We shouldn’t kill, be a doormat, laugh at others beliefs, ostracise people, be black & white about things. What is the evidence for “that”? Hard to know as someone else always reporting

Milton Jones “You are welcome to say anything about my faith, so long as you’re prepared for me to say anything about your lack of it.”

The Church is like a jigsaw, brings us all together to make a whole picture… and Bex noted that a lot of us are blue sky?! We can’t all see the jigsaw the same way – we see it all from different angles – we can’t be God – we need faith to believe that he’s in charge.

Babel fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide. God says “this proves I exist, however without

faith I am nothing” & disappears into a puff of logic. This demonstrates the joy of looking things up ‘in session’ whilst Mary keeps us on track to finish in time!

4) In what ways does it work to challenge authority?

Challenge authority?! Ewan likes to be devil’s advocate. Does it tie in with the rules from last week? If something is wrong – should challenge it- as #occupylsx could be said to do.

Those who are in the establishment church are possibly not those who would have joined with Jesus then? However – God still loves conservatives? His welcome extends to all – including those who need security of an establishment.

Hot Pudding

We watched the video “That’s My King”. A compelling video despite an essentially repeated picture- Jesus appears as truly Indescribable, so much bigger than words. He is all things to everyone, and is available to everyone. He appears in different & unique ways to each individual? We’re not trying to pick & choose, but Jesus connects with the you that you are … Now. We don’t necessarily need to think like an evangelist/be x to get Jesus. God’s got different buttons to push – lots of ways to relate despite the 2000 year gap.

Cold Pudding

We talked about images of Jesus. The first to come to mind was Salvador Dali – stunning paintings , but what about the message? We started to watch the Chocolate Jesus, but found it a little odd, although we were waiting to see if the Cock crowed three times. Mary mentioned that she likes the Lego Jesus. We grew up with renaissance image of Jesus- white, in a nightdress, with blond hair- like idea of the black Jesus. We looked at ‘Gadgets for God’ – wondered how many showed a lack of respect, and noted that the Christian faith is good at accepting a lack of respect…

After Dinner Chocs

We’ll think about the things that tend to come into our minds most often, and discuss what that says about us.


About drbexl

Life Explorer, academia/learning, Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach. Twitter: @drbexl @digitalfprint, @ww2poster @bigbible