PIETAS

Matthew’s Spiritual Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews

Leading a Beta Group

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One new project Susan and I have committed to this fall is hosting and leading a weekly Christian fellowship meeting at our home. We will be studying three parables in Luke 15 over those seven weeks, dovetailing with the end-of-October publication of The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith, a new book by Reverend Tim Keller.

Beta Groups are newly-formed small gatherings for worship and Bible study at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. They are designed to serve as a seven-week introduction to the community of Christian fellowship.

In leading our Beta Group, we are responding, in part, to Reverend Keller’s call to engage more actively in building a Gospel-based Christian community and, in particular, to practice Christian hospitality in our daily lives. This homily, delivered on June 8, was part of the sermon series entitled Practicing the Christian Life and discussed Hebrews 13:1-14 which begins as follows.

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Reverend Keller helped me see that the practice of Christian hospitality should be considered part of the larger transformation of rebirth initiated by the Grace of God. I have come to accept that the practice of Christian hospitality requires me to form radically new attitude towards others with heart-felt care about both material and spiritual well-being of fellow sojourners in Christ.

Below are a couple of other Bible passages that have guided my service to our Beta Group which, incidentally, is composed mostly of newcomers (hence, sojourners) to New York City.

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19, ESV)

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11, ESV)

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Written by Matthew

September 28, 2008 at 4:28 pm