The people of Hope are setting off on another journey through the Bible together on September 23. Once again, Whitney Kuniholm will be our guide as we read through 100 carefully selected passages of scripture in “The Essential Jesus” Bible Reading Challenge. Once again, we’ll offer a lots of weekly small group discussion options so you can find one that fits your schedule. And once again, we’ll be planning Sunday worship services that dig into the scriptures we’ve read together each week.
Whitney Kuniholm says, “The Essential Jesus is similar to The Essential 100, only it deals with what I call ‘the Bible’s greatest story.’ That’s the story line of salvation. Now, most people think that the story of salvation began at the manger and ended at the empty tomb. But what I do is, in 25 readings from the Old Testament and 75 readings from the New Testament, follow the trail that goes from Genesis right through to Revelation. It’s the storyline that holds the whole Bible together. And I would contend that it’s the storyline that holds all of life together: The story of God becoming a man, dying for our sins, rising to life again, and, some day, all His followers will meet Him. That’s the storyline we follow through the scriptures, and that’s what The Essential Jesus is all about.”
I’m excited about the Essential Jesus. Yes, it’s a big commitment. Have you noticed that most things that are actually worth doing are? Yes, it’s a lot of work for a lot of people. But the fruit that E100 produced—and that it continues to produce today—is good fruit! God did something wonderful in us and among us as we enjoyed fellowship with Him and with one another around His Word. God woke us up to the reality of His presence and love and power in our midst. God made us hungry and thirsty to keep growing in relationship with Him and each other. God demonstrated to us that He keeps His promises, and that He is actively at work in this fallen world, through the lives of those who trust Jesus, to set His creatures free from sin’s power and establish the justice and righteousness of His Kingdom “on earth as it is in Heaven.”
I’m excited about the Essential Jesus because I believe that God is going to continue to lay the foundation that He began in E100, and that what He is going to build on that foundation is going to make an enduring impact for Jesus Christ in our community.
We asked for and received feedback from people who participated in E100 Bible Discussion Groups. Here’s some of what they had to say:
able to talk freely; no judgment
opportunity to share my faith with a wonderful group
people were patient and understanding
came to a new outlook on my religion, my faith and a certain peace within myself
learned more about the Bible
made and deepened friendships
valued getting to know members of our church on a different level
new friendships and getting to know “old” friends on a deeper level
friendships made and deepened
want to continue to grow, learn more
I enjoy it
I just enjoyed it
I hope you will join us on this new journey through the Bible! We’re ordering books and organizing Essential Jesus Bible Discussion Groups right now. You can get involved by completing your Connect Card during 10:30 am and 5:30 pm Sunday worship services. If you can’t make it worship and want to be part of Essential Jesus, you can! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office at 518-603-1253.