Study Guide: Kingdom Nice

Sunday May 18, 2014 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

The little things we do in the Kingdom make a big difference. In this sermon, Greg shows that the incarnation and cross are spiritual and physical realities for us.

Extended Summary:

The incarnation and the cross show that our faith should be physical and spiritual. The incarnation and the cross refute the platonic idea of separating the physical and spiritual. For God, both are important, and this is shown by Jesus taking on the messy, physical reality of this world. We are similarly called to have this type of theology, where are separate from the world yet a part of the world. For Paul, he was telling the Colossians to take part in messy relationships that humans have with one another, and in this way, they would be illustrating the God who reveals himself to creation.

Greeting, welcoming, helping, praying and charging were revelation of the importance of the little things in the Kingdom. These little acts of grace affirm the worth of one another. Many Christians say they love and would lay down their life for their enemies, and yet we have trouble saying hello, welcome and how are you. It feels like, in our society, that our culture is losing its common decency of making another feel welcomed, acknowledged, and let them know they have worth. It seems to be that the first thing someone should sense in us is a welcoming and comforting presence.

This passage also shows that Jesus followers should have intimate relationships. In our culture of individualism, it is often easier to insulate oneself from everyone else. But, we’re made in the image of a triune God and we were made for intimate relationships. We all have a core need to know and be known. We only grow and thrive in the Kingdom as long as we have these intimate relationships with other Christians. We are all threads that should be woven into one tapestry, and this is what forms the Kingdom.
We all need intimate relationships in the Kingdom, and we need to seek them out and go deeper. If you are not currently in this type of relationship, be praying and keep your eyes open as you greet people. Get involved in local ministry and try to find kindred spirits that are around you. Toward all people, our love must be incarnate and it starts with small acts of affirmation. In this way, we will begin to embody the image of the Triune God in which we were created.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. How well do you feel like you do the little things in the Kingdom?
  3. What difference do you see these little things making in the life of the community at WHC?
  4. Who in your life do you have intimate, accountable relationships with?
  5. What’s one way in which you can take this sermon and use it this week?