Welcome to the 11th session of Lawn Chair Catechism, using Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus, by Sherry Weddell (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012).
A few notes:
- You’ll be able to leave comments and/or leave your link at the end.
- You do not have to read the book to participate. Check out our discussion guide. There’s plenty to get started with if that’s all you use (one page a week).
This week, we’ll be covering Chapter 10: Do Tell: The Great Story of Jesus.
We can no longer assume that even an educated adult knows the basic story of Jesus Christ. But knowing this story is essential to conversion:
Our own personal witness can help illuminate and make living, compelling, and believable aspects of Jesus’ story, but it cannot take the place of Jesus’ story.
In trying to decide when and how to share the story of Jesus, there are four questions to consider:
- Does our friend know the essential “acts” of the Story?
- Has he or she connected the dots? Does he or she understand the story as a whole?
- Does our friend understand the personal significance of the Story?
- What is or has been his or her response to the story?
The essentials of this story can be broken down into a series of “acts” that need to be told, but the order and timing may vary according to the needs and questions of the hearer.
Proclamation of the Kingdom: God is love.
He created us for a life with him, full of peace, truth, beauty, goodness, and meaning that begins now, lasts forever, and can’t be taken away.
This life is what is called the “Kingdom of God”. Jesus Christ is the very face of this kingdom. He reveals the love of the Father and the nature of God’s Kingdom through his every word and action. The characteristic actions of the Kingdom are healing and forgiving.
Jesus Embraces the Cross:
. . . Jesus’s ministry results not in “success” as the world understands it but rather in the mystery of his rejection, betrayal, crucifixion, and death. Yet is is for us that Jesus embraces the cross in obedience to the Father, as the means of our salvation and access to God’s life.
Resurrection, Ascension, New Life, Adoption, and the Kingdom: The Cross is not the end of the story. Seekers can investigate the historical evidence for the reality of the resurrection. Satisfied with that evidence, they can move on to asking, “What does this mean for me?”
The seeker thus comes to a final set of thresholds: Jesus asks me to follow him. He forgives my sins. I’m ready to drop the net and become a disciple.
In your own faith:
- Are you practiced in sharing the Gospel story? Have you ever heard it told especially well?
- How can you become more skilled at explaining and answering questions about the Gospel?
In your parish:
- What are times and places at your parish when the Gospel story could be shared in a few quick words? In more detail?
Join the discussion!
We’ll be “talking” in the combox, too, so please leave your thoughts there as well!