We are continuing our study in the book of James. James and Paul seem to have conflicting ideas about faith and works. What are they talking about and what does it mean for us?
Parenting can be like signing up for the worlds most guilty job. It is beautiful and sacred while being incredibly difficult. Let's be honest about it.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are all called to work. To be human means we are made in the image of the God who hovers over the waters of chaos and works to bring order. Work is sacred because it is an incarnational act that aligns us in the flow of the creator as we participate in the “ongoing creation of the world.” This is more than a good vocation but is a participation in the sacred.
Do you find we often compartmentalize “the work we are called to” as only being employment or vocation? Do you see every part of your life as the work you are called to? How can we grow in this?
Sometimes there is this voice in our head that says if something is sacred it should flow with a certain degree of ease. Work is more like a sacred struggle. Do the words sacred and struggle feel like a contradiction or a holy pairing to you?
This sacred struggle can look like anything where something or someone is in disarray and you are able to bring clarity and right action. Share an experience where there was chaos and you were able to bring order to the situation.
Everything we have been talking about in the “Undivided Spirituality” series is a different aspect of sacred work. It takes work to “own our voice” and do our internal work. It takes work to be generous. It takes work to have healthy relationships. It takes work to learn how to speak in the language of others and communicate across barriers. It is a sacred struggle to participate in a vocation. Which stands out to you as needing the most attention in your life and why?
Everyone present heard the apostles message in their own tongue. Why was this important when everyone spoke Greek? They all spoke a common language but when God wanted to speak to them he used their own tongue. As any bilingual person will tell you there are concepts that can’t be translated at merely a language level. It sounds like people were hearing things taught in a way they could understand which would include language and concepts. God seems to have a value for this diversity. Even the picture of heaven in Revelation is every tribe and tongue and nation. Why isn’t there one language even in heaven? Could it be that the Divine is to big to be expressed in the confines of a single language?
Scott and Louise walker join Jim Zartman with a conversation about relationships.
“Cover bands don’t change the world.” - Todd Henry
The other day I heard a woman say, “I opened my mouth and my mom came out. I couldn’t believe it.” The truth is we have no idea how deeply different voices have penetrated into our thinking. Sometimes intentionally but often unintentionally we have surrendered our voices to others. Often the voices that come through us are those of authority figures, religious figures, parents, people who loved us, and even people who hurt us. It takes time and courage to search our hearts and histories and question the lenses we see through. Only after doing this deep work can we truly own our voices. Only then can we speak from the deep and sacred space of our true and authentic selves. Only when we can speak from that deep and sacred space can we change the world around us in a way that reflects the Divine.
1. What do you think it means to “own your voice?” What does that mean to you? What does it look like?
2. How do we even begin to do this work? How do we even begin to do the deep work of owning our voice?
3. Do you have examples in your life of people who have done this well? Are there people who have walked the complicated path of asking the questions that reshaped the way they live?
4. If we could own our worst without shame and our best without pride… what would our voices sound like?
5. What would it look like if you fully owned the fact that God wants to speak through you in the unique way you are made?
Easter Sunday! We often talk about the resurrection of Jesus but today we want to think about the resurrection life that is possible for our lives now!
We conclude the Lent season talking about how Jesus becomes the scapegoat to expose and end our need for ever scapegoating again. It is finished.
We often thing of discipline as punishment for doing something wrong. The biblial concept is very different.
Faith is as hard to define as love. It's better to come at it with images, metaphors, and story.
We continue our study in Hebrews looking at REST.
This quote from Ken Gire's "The Reflective Life" looks at what we looked at this weekend as we began the Lent series through the book of Hebrews.
"I want to be like Christ. But honestly, I want to be like the Christ who turned the water into wine, not the Christ who thirsted on a cross. I want to be the clothed Christ, not the One whose garment was stripped off and gambled away. I want to be the Christ who fed the five thousand, not the One who hungered for forty days in the wilderness. I want to be the free Christ, walking through wheat fields with his disciples, not the imprisoned Christ, who was deserted by them.I want to be the good Samaritan, not the man who fell among thieves. But if the man had not fallen among thieves and been beaten, stripped, and left for dead, the good in the Samaritan never would have emerged.
If we want to be like Christ, we have to embrace both sides of his life. What else could the Bible mean when it talks about “the fellowship of his sufferings”? How could we enter that fellowship apart from suffering? How could we truly know the man of sorrows who was acquainted with grief if we had not ourselves known grief and sorrow? That is how Christ grows in us. It is also the way many people come to Christ. For some people, it is the only way. And perhaps that explains, at least partially, why bad things sometimes happen to good people.
For the sake of those around them. That they might come to Christ. That Christ might come to them, to live in them.
So that once again a Savior can be born into the world."