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Lu Daoming welcomes you on a journey of friendship and hope. Together, let's learn new ideas: how to live with real meaning and joy.

Category Archives: Learning From Literature

“RETURN TO ME” (John 13 – 17)

Return to me“Return to Me” is the name of a year 2000 romantic-comedy-drama movie with a very peculiar plot line: Bob and Elizabeth are married and truly love each other – but she is killed in a terrible car accident. Her heart is saved and medically transplanted into another woman named Grace, who receives it well – Grace’s life is completely changed because of the new heart she has received. Bob, the bereaved husband, is depressed for a long time, but finally begins to seek out a new woman companion, and discovers Grace – he knows nothing about her health history, but begins to really like her. The movie is a very touching story of how Bob discovers that Grace is alive because of the heart transplanted from his wife Elizabeth – Elizabeth has left him, but now her heart is living in Grace. The photo you see is from the scene in the movie where Bob discovers that Grace is alive with the heart of Elizabeth beating in her chest. The woman he loved (his wife Elizabeth who died) is, in a strange way, “still alive” in Grace, a woman he is learning to love.

Now our lectures in this series are not about a romance between a man and a woman – but they are about a very profound love between Jesus, The Teacher, and His followers. Our texts from the Library tell of a very deep love and commitment between Jesus and us, and there is a very deep drama in the story: The Teacher, whom they love, is about to leave them!! It seems like nothing will ever be the same! How will their lives go on?

There are many things to learn about The Teacher, many good things to learn from His teaching. But there is one thing that is the most important of all – something so important that if you get this one thing right, everything else will fall into its proper place: He loves us!

This series is about how Jesus, who is no longer actually with us like He was in the first century, is actually still with us – in a way even more beautiful and more powerful than He was before!

May 17, 2015: “From Humility to Hospitality” This is a marvelous story of how Jesus, fully aware of who He really is, fully aware of His real status, humbles Himself to wash feet! But there’s more to the story than just humility! This is the ritual of hospitality: Jesus was welcoming His followers – and us – into His home! Location, location, location! Our spiritual “location” is what this lecture is all about!

May 24, 2015: “Return to Me!” Jesus and His disciples are truly the best of friends, in the Asian-cultural sense: they have shared success and failure, they’ve gone through hard times together, they have shared life and status, they have been defined by their friendship with each other. For Jesus to say that He’s leaving them now is the most devastating word imaginable to them! Why does He say this? What does it mean? What does it mean for us? This lecture highlights the movie “Return to Me,” which is the theme of the series: now that Jesus is no longer with us, how do we continue to know Him? How do we continue to share life with Him?

May 31, 2015: “In My Father’s house …” We often understand this passage – and the famous one “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life …” to mean that Jesus will lead us to a heavenly reward when we die. What if Jesus meant something very different by it? Let’s try to read the Gospel of John for its own story and meaning, instead of reading it through the lens of our religious culture. We might find something very, very valuable!

June 7, 2015: “My Father loves you …” The ancient Greeks and Romans thought of 神 as being too pure, too absolutely ideal to be connected with humans at all. Even the ancient Jewish people thought of their God as very far away, very pure, too holy to have contact with ordinary people like us. Jesus comes to show a very different kind of God – and that has huge meaning for us.

June 14, 2015: “Make your home … here.” Jesus gives a very powerful and beautiful word-picture to encourage us, to help us have hope and confidence in His goodness with us, and in His Father’s help for us. This one’s all about putting our hope in Him – not in ourselves – not just for being forgiven – but for the whole thing of our new life, the changes involved in “bearing fruit”!

June 21, 2015: “The most important thing” Over and over again you’ll hear Jesus describe the Father – and how what He does and says is “what the Father is like.” What’s startling is how far He welcomes us into the family: all the way to the Father. Understanding everything is a lifelong challenge. Doing things perfectly is impossible anyway, and only frustrating. But when you get this one thing that Jesus came to do, “the world may believe …”

June 28, 2015: “Comforter, Helper, Counsellor, Advocate” Who did Jesus send to replace Himself to us? What is this new One supposed to do for us? why do we need to rely on Him? This is one of the most important lectures I’ve ever given – maybe not one of the best, but one of the most important. The Comforter/Helper/Counsellor/Advocate does for us what we truly need the most – He gives us true connection to the real reality – because the world is not what it seems, and not what it claims to be.

July 12, 2015: “Overcoming Grieving” When people love each other, and someone has to leave, the pain of leaving can be very serious. “Our hearts can be troubled” with the big emptiness of where the person we love used to be. Jesus left us – but He has returned – not in the final return of the Great Day, but in the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? How can we work with it and grow in Him?

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