Study Guide: Puppets and Dresses

Sunday January 13, 2008 | Seth McCoy

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Is the good news of Jesus Christ really as good in your mind as it was in the mind of Jesus? God's dream for humanity is far more amazing than most of us realize. He wants to “marry” us, to invite us into his family and walk in radical love with us.

Extended Summary:

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news to the world that God has a made a way for peace (“shalom” in Hebrew) so that mankind can live according to the dream that God had in mind from the beginning of the world. When there is peace, the dividing walls between people are torn down. This is much more than a Gospel message about where we will go when we die. This is about how we live today and the freedom to live that way.

In the movie Pinocchio, the wooden puppet wanted to be more than he was. He wanted to be a little boy and be a part of his master’s family. In the same way, the Gospel (“good news”) is about how we can be more than we are, about how we are invited to participate as a member of God’s family. Ultimately this means that we are invited into a radical unity with God, similar to a marriage. In marriage, the two become one. The Gospel is about how we can walk in a marriage relationship with God as one who dances with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the first century, the path to marriage was very different than it is today. When a man and woman were betrothed to one another, it was as if they were fully married, except they did not live together. The man would prepare a home and get ready to provide for a family. The woman would prepare herself for the weeding ceremony and wait for the coming of her betrothed. In the same way, we are living in this betrothal period with Jesus. He will come for his bride, the church. How will the church look on that day? Will you be faithful, contributing to the beauty of the church?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stands out to you as you read this passage?
  2. When you hear the terms “Gospel” or “salvation” what comes to your mind?
  3. Pinocchio wanted to be more than he was. He was not satisfied with being a puppet. Have you ever wondered if God’s dream for us was more than what we currently call “the Gospel”?
  4. What does it mean to be in a marriage relationship with God, to be included in the God’s family of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
  5. How is your life sharing God’s dream of radical unity with God and one another in this world?