A global pandemic, political upheaval, a changing climate… these days, the future is more uncertain than it has ever been. Or is it? For the people of the Bible, life was often shaped by deep uncertainty. Encounters with God sparked awe, confusion or courage, but rarely certainty. Instead, God’s people have always been called to follow God into the unknown, trusting in God’s certain grace and love. This three-session summer Bible study explores God’s invitation to the people of the Bible and to us, to take the holy journey beyond certainty to curiosity, community and compassion, where we find abundant life in Christ.
May/June 2024 issue
After certainty: Curiosity
Jesus’ ministry, during the uncertainty of the first century Roman occupation, often challenged the “certainties” of the status quo when it came to faith, power and relationships—both the relationships between people and God, and between people in community. Just as curiosity drew people to Jesus and his message, holy curiosity can still lead us to the places where God transforms “what is” to “what could be.”
After certainty: Community
When certainty in faith becomes the responsibility of the individual, this can isolate us from God and from community. The reformer Martin Luther’s own failures of certainty led him to return to passages in the gospels and epistles that proclaimed salvation, not as a reward for our certainty, but as a gift granted in and through community. In this second session, we consider how some of the pivotal texts of the Lutheran Reformation changed the church and the world.
After certainty: Compassion
When certainty becomes judgmentalism, it contributes to divisions between people and within communities. The teachings of Jesus and the pastoral writings of the apostle Paul sometimes urge people to choose compassion over correctness—a model that can offer Christians guidance in a polarized time.