Reverently Regarded Revelation (January)
The new year saw our church begin a congregational Bible-reading plan, journaling and prayer, along with regular House Groups in which our Scripture reflections were shared together.
To firmly focus us in these efforts, we spent a month in Psalm 119, soaking in its reverence for the Word of God.
When God has a Thousand Word (February-March)
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” so goes the saying. What if God had a lot to say? I bet He’d paint a picture.
This series walked us through some of the most picturesque visions given by God to His messengers, the prophets. If we are seeking to be people shaped by the Word of God, then some long, hard looking at images like these is in order.
Jonah 4:1-11: A Plant, a Worm, and a Wind
Isaiah 65:17-25: New Heaven and Earth
Isaiah 52:13-53:12: Servant and Arm
When Lives Are Joined (April-May)
God joins lives together. More shocking, He joins together lives that we might not. Every single church feels the resonance of Paul’s image that we are like the human body, wonderfully united but shockingly diverse. How is that going to work?
This short series was an emphasis on the themes of unity and harmony that flow through Scripture’s call upon God’s people. It wasn’t easy in the first-century churches, and it’s not easy in today’s churches. But it has always been important.
“Some Things Aren’t A Big Deal”
Pressed in Prayer (June-July)
In a continuing search for what it is that we need if we hope to be effectively shaped into God’s children in our given “here and now”, we turn our attention to prayer. What is it? How does it change us? How can we enter it more deeply?
Psalms Speak (August)
Psalm 25: “I’m In, Lead Me, Clean Me”
Church Stripped Down (September)
Shrek enlightened the world by telling us that ogres are like onions–they both have layers. A childhood experience of scraping and sanding garage sale furniture with my dad was the first time I realized that beautiful things can get covered over by unnecessary and unattractive layers.
What might we find if we stripped down “church”? Under all the layers of expectation and experimentation, what is the point anyway?
This series is our effort to get under it all to the stripped down church.
A Blazing Passion (October-November)
No image depicts passion more than flames. The people of God can be “on fire” or crying out to Him to “light the fire again”. Our desire for Him can be “consuming” or “snuffed out”.
But whatever phrase or picture one chooses, there is no denying the need for passion in the spiritual life.
For three weeks, we turned our attention to the place of passion in our spiritual lives.
In the Father’s Embrace (November)
One morning, we did all we could think to do to soak ourselves in one message–that we are the beloved children of God the Father. Songs, stories, interviews, music, children’s books–it all pointed us in one direction. The lesson from that morning can be heard here:
Ministering Like Mary (November-December)
In becoming what God intends us to be, there has to be some form of “out-flow” in our lives. Said another way, we cannot become all we’re created to become without some form of ministry or service or giving or spending of ourselves on others. In that sense, we are “Made IN Ministry (a phrase our church has been rolling around recently). Sure, we are “Made FOR Ministry”, but more precisely, we are made IN it.
As we strive to live our lives of ministry, Mary’s life provides some powerful examples. Her willingness to step into God’s plans in very uncomfortable, even dangerous, ways reveals to us the intensity and risk and glory and confusion and more of accepting God’s call on our lives.
Luke 2:1-40: “Voices and Stories”
Luke 2:41-52: “Merely Mom?” (before communion)
Luke 2:41-52: “Merely Mom?” (after communion)
Glimpses of the Manger (December)
We ended our year with three guest speakers and their reflections on the story of Christ’s birth. Our congregation was blessed by each of these men and their messages.
“Meeting God at the Manger” (Murray Sanders)
“Good News to the Poor” (Kevin Vance)
“Did You Hear the One About an Edomite, Some Arabs, and Jew?” (Wade Grocott)