The Campus House Podcast is our collection of Sunday teachings, meant to encourage and equip you in your relationship with Jesus. Campus House invites you to listen, dive deeper into the Word, and catch a glimpse of God’s ongoing work in your life and in our ministry.
On The Emmaus Road: 7 Mile Walk
This is the introduction to our sermon series out of Luke 24; a post-Easter story to prepare us for Easter. “Walking,” as a metaphor for the spiritual journey one takes with God and His people, is a thread that runs throughout Scripture. As Christians are prone to do, especially in our culture, many have turned the ‘Christian walk’ into an unhealthy kind of works-based assessment so that the question, “How’s your walk with Christ” inflicts anxiety and shame if the present walk is presently difficult or promotes spiritual pride and self-righteousness if we can check all the appropriate boxes of a “successful Christian.” Masks and trophies have, unfortunately, tarnished and blurred this awesome metaphor, so we hope to reclaim and restore it a bit over these next few weeks, because it is the essence of life with Father, Son, and Spirit.
In Luke 24, the Resurrected Jesus joins a 7-mile walk with a couple of His followers.
This is a story about encountering Jesus:
They encountered Jesus on the road.
They encountered Jesus through Scripture.
They encountered Jesus in the midst of their grief and confusion.
They encountered Jesus through a simple meal around the table.
They encountered Jesus through walking with Jesus.
The invitation for these next few weeks is for us to find ourselves in the story, to be attentive as we walk with others, and to encounter the risen Christ in a whole new way.
In a culture of hyper-individualism, Christ is building His Church, His House. In Ephesians 4, Paul shifts to the metaphor of Christ’s Body and implores the church to be unified; not for unity’s sake, but as a preview, a foretaste, a sample of God’s revealed mystery, His plan of bringing everything together in Christ. We are one in Christ, but each member has a distinctive role that contributes to the health and mission of the whole Body.
As the Body of Christ, we carry the fruit of the Spirit, things like humility and gentleness, patience and forbearance that allow us to maintain unity and, together build up the church, making disciples who make disciples.
“God is gathering a people who, moving beyond their own self-oriented inclinations, are learning to love one another as Christ has loved us.” - Woodward and White
A people of commission, sent out to be a Kingdom outpost of the Spirit.
“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”
This is third part of a series we are calling Reframing Church which explores the identity and purpose, function and mission of the church as a whole, and specifically the Campus House community. In chapters 4 & 5 of Ephesians, Paul describes the contrast between the old life of darkness and the new life of light in Jesus. He moves from the inside out, from mindset to relationships. This is a calling to live as People of the Light, exposing the darkness with the truth and grace of Jesus, bringing transformation and impacting the culture with the lived Gospel of Christ. We also talked about the theology of place that gives a new intentionality with how a building can be used to further the mission of the church (as opposed to a consumer driven sequestering from society and culture) which served as a segue to reveal plans for a new House. *Find out more at reframingthehouse.com.
“Rather than just inflate the church with people coming from the world, it is equally important to inflate the world with people coming from the church. We must make an impact for the gospel among people for whom coming to church would be the last stop on their list. Suppose for a moment that Christians saw it as their mission in life not merely to be good churchgoing people, but light bearers, grace mongers, and peddlers of hope to a dark, screwy world.” - Rick Bundshuh
God judges evil because He is good. In this episode we explore God's judgment and restoration. We see how God brought powerful judgement as well as restoration and redemption through Jesus. We see how God's judgement still will happen on Jesus's return, that life is found in Him, and how His life in us results in justice.
The prophet Amos was called by God to confront his society over their injustices. God says that when they remove their injustices he will remove his judgment against them. But what does it take to remove social injustice? While Amos calls believers to “seek good, not evil…hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate” (Amos 5:14-15). He calls us to actions and affections that move toward the good. This is further defined in Amos 5:24 as justice and righteousness flowing abundantly and perpetually from our lives. To confront wrongs, set things right, and have right relationships in every area of life — this is social justice. This is the fruit of true religion. It goes somewhere. It follows us out of church and into our everyday lives. In this sermon we consider the very common and very important biblical combination of “justice and righteousness” — what it is, how we should do it, and how we will come to want to do it. We find that God’s call to the just and righteous is to disadvantage themselves in order to advantage others. Then we work to specify how this might take place in our own lives today.
Through the “farmer-turned-prophet” Amos, God rebukes Israel for their pervasive injustice, idolatry, and debauchery - all while continuing to come to “church” with their sacrifices and their songs. They were really pleased with themselves, but God was not pleased with them. He gives Amos the visual of a plumb-line; an external standard by which to measure what is true. Their worship was self-centered, idolatrous, nationalistic, hypocritical, and had no regard for justice. Idolatry had led to moral decay and their distorted view of God had led to injustice.
The picture of a plumb line invites us to think about our own assessment of worship, which is often based on what we “get out of it,” and even our use of phrases like “church-shopping” can reveal a rather consumeristic lens bent towards our own happiness and comfort.
But who is worship for? What does God get out our worship? What is the connection between our vertical “ascribing glory to God” and our horizontal posture of justice and service? What are the potential idols we are tempted to clasp with one hand as we raise the other in worship? Who is God calling us to love, pray for, serve, advocate for in His name?
The prophecy of Amos is about the universal justice of God. God’s call to us is to live out his justice because we live inside his love. Yet for many of us, the link between God’s love and God’s justice is unclear. This is the surprise within the book of Amos: God shows his people that just because he loves them and has given them his gracious favor and salvation, that doesn’t mean he shows them favoritism. Favored, yes, but favoritism — having special privileges compared to others — No. God is fair and just and treats everyone equally. That’s why he loves justice: he not only punishes wrongdoing but works to do give people their rights, especially the oppressed. In the book of Amos, we see that God’s loves is just, hates injustice, has a purpose, and has power. Life with Jesus is one of incredible love and acceptance. It’s also one of incredible demand and discipline. Rather than separating these things, God’s love hold them together. God loves us as we are but never leaves us as we are: he intends to make us just — just like him.
The Holy Spirit said through Zechariah that the meaning of Christmas was to bring light into a dark world and to guide our feet on the path of peace. But how does Christmas guide us into peace? In Luke 2:10-14, the angels sing give glory to God for the peace he has brought to earth, and the way to receive this peace is to receive the good news of great joy, that God, through the infant Jesus, has brought a Savior and salvation into the world. This is our peace. We see that God, at Christmas, brings the gift of his peace and pleasure to humanity through the message of the gospel. This message is good news, not good advice, and therefore declares to us what has already been done for us rather than what we must do for God. Though we are at war with God — for we want to rule instead of him — he uses his rule to bring us into peace and joy. Though there is nothing we must do to get God’s peace, we are called to receive God’s peace through treasuring and pondering Christ and glorifying and praising God for this good news: God has orchestrated his power to bring us his peaceful presence.
Matthew 5:9; Luke 1:78-79; John 14:27; Ephesians 2:13-18; Romans 15:13; Colossians 3:15