One of things we like to say at Process is that if Jesus matters (and we believe He does) He has to matter in context. The context that all of us find ourselves in is the community and broader culture of which we are a part. We value social action because it’s what Jesus did. As He journeyed around telling people who He was and why He came to meet their spiritual needs He also met their physical needs.
Of course there are an endless list of causes and ways to accomplish this purpose. To that point we are attempting to develop a smaller number of intentional partnerships so we can have a deeper impact in our community. This decision also gives us added flexibility to help with smaller unplanned community needs that may arise.
Our two current partnerships are #1 The New Dawn Theater. This is not just the place we worship on Sundays. We have dedicated hours of people resources and thousands of dollars of financial resources to accomplish our goal to leave the theater better than we found it. Partnership #2 is a developing partnership with Rainbow Village whose goal is to break the cycles of homelessness, poverty, and domestic violence.
To get to the heart of Jesus we will explore Matthew 25… glancing at the first unfamiliar part of the chapter that leads to the more known connector to the social action discussion. Let’s answer some of these questions to get us thinking:
1. What is a parable?
2. Why do you think Jesus used parables?
3. What is the common theme of the two parables found in 25:1-13 and 25:14-30?
4. In your view how do the first 30 verses relate to the last 16 verses?
5. Why should the good news about Jesus lead us to do good deeds for others?
6. Why do you think Jesus almost always met physical needs before or in conjunction with meeting spiritual needs?
7. What do you think Jesus meant in v. 40?
8. So do vv. 41-46 mean that those not practicing social action are bound for eternal damnation? If not, what do these verses mean?
9. For a person seeking to follow Jesus, why can the gospel and/or social action not stand alone?
10. If we believe both are valuable, what is & how do you keep the right balance?
11. Cart before horse? Chicken or the egg? The gospel or social action? Which is primary?
For some extra insights follow the link to this commentary… Matthew 25.