Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2015
Texts: Genesis 3:1-6; Luke 22:39-46; 2 Corinthians 13:8; Luke 22:53; Matthew 12:30-; 1 Corinthians 15:14
Most Christians have heard the name Billy Graham. And now many have heard the name of his grandson, Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin). But unfortunately, while Billy Graham is known for his evangelic work around the world, Tullian Tchividjian is known for his extramarital affair that caused him to lose his church. After announcing his departure to his congregation on Sunday, he released this statement to the Washington Post:
“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”1
Tchividjian came into the public eye back in 2009, when he succeeded the late James Kennedy as senior pastor of the Corral Ridge Presbyterian Church. The high profile, Florida-based mega church has more than 1,900 attendees. Many considered Tchividjian a “rising star” in evangelism. Now that star has fallen.
This week’s lesson talks about the ministry of Jesus—how He ministered to thousands as He taught, healed, and forgave, with “an unwavering commitment to obey the Father.” From childhood He knew what was ahead: the betrayal, the aloneness, the beatings, the mocking. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He agonized over what lay ahead—His death on the cross. And yet He remained faithful. His love for the Father and His love for us kept Jesus from caving and taking the easy way out.
Yet the cross wasn’t the end! Jesus prophesied in Luke 24:7: “ ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’ ” (NKJV). His death covers our sins. His resurrection guarantees our eternal life.
Two days after Tchividjian’s announcement, he posted this statement on his Twitter account: “Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death...thank God grace reigns here.” It’s because of the cross that grace reigns—for Tchividjian, and for all of us.
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