Christianity began, not in a vacuum, but in Roman occupied Palestine. The birth of the new Messiah, ministry of Jesus, meals among the disciples, and growth of this movement reflected the values of the reign of God alongside the reign of Caesar. “Jesus is Lord” was not only a statement of faith—it was a political claim. Faith was not a feeling but an allegiance to someone greater. To believe and proclaim “one God” was an attack on the goddess Roma and her many “pseudo gods” which included the Roman emperor. Yet this movement exploded both in the city and rural areas. Worship, communion, songs, proclamation, and conversion all promised something that the current powers did not provide—hope. This new story of hope, transformation, salvation, and mercy competed against the kingdom of power and glory that offered peace but delivered oppression. Yet it could not squash this new Empire—where Jesus, the murdered lamb, reigned as the true Caesar.
How can the church recapture this same spirit of resistance and promise hope in a world that faces false empires, immoral leaders, power hungry ethics, manipulation, and exploitation of other humans? How can Christians resist the messages of a world that offers much but delivers little? How can disciples of Jesus once again call others to a movement that promotes peace, compassion, faithfulness, and courage?
September 9 = Jesus is Caesar: Called to Resist
September 16 = Worship Jesus
September 23 = Freedom Sunday
September 30 = Jesus is Present: Communion
October 7 = Proclaiming Jesus as Resistance
October 14 = Proclaiming Jesus as Caesar
October 21 = Resisting Abuse and Oppression
October 28 = The Rich Man and Lazarus–A Parable of Resistance
November 3 = Salvation and Resistance
November 10 = Salvation, Conversion, and Resistance