10:15 I Facebook Live
Well friends, we’re all one week into the national emergency due to the COVID-19 virus. How y’all doing? I’m sure the answers are all over the board. And our answers say much about us — things like where we work, what personality type we have, where we gather our information. But most importantly, this is a great time to find out what we truly value. Testing has a way of making some things clear to us that we can’t see when life is easy, when nothing is asked of us. And what is testing but a time of being asked for things? Let’s dig in this week and see how Jesus handles this, and what it has to teach us, and let’s see why his answers let the crowds utterly amazed.
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June 4th, 2023
10:15am - Facebook Live
Deliverance is Messy
If you’ve been around Grace long enough you’ve heard me quote the great theologian Jurgen Moltmann and tell the story of how he became a Christ follower, but I want to revisit it here because I think it offers a profound example of what we see in our text this week. As a young man in Germany at the start of WW2, Moltmann was conscripted into the German army and made part of an anti-aircraft unit. Captured near the end of the war, he was interred in a POW camp in Scotland. Many of the Axis prisoners were held for years after the war to help clear the rubble and destruction from the German Blitz, though they were allowed to live in less confined arrangements. It was in this camp, run by the British YMCA, that Moltmann heard the Gospel and became a Christ follower. Can you imagine? Moltmann became truly free while being a prisoner of his former enemies. It’s not a clean story. It isn’t simple, but it’s real. This week we will encounter something similar. Let’s think this through together.
Grace and peace y’all,
John Ray and the teaching team
Big Idea: Our desire for a simple, clean story does not obligate God to give us one.
History is a complex mix of joy and pain, specific incidents can mean very different things to different people.
How does this fit in with Belong, Become, Believe?
At Grace Church one of the ways we express our practice of radical hospitality is by saying “there is just one door”. This means everyone comes in the same way, no matter how you got there or what came before. This practice helps form us by remembering that we also came through the same door. This is also expressed in, and helps form, what we say we believe.
Questions to Ponder
As you think about your own history, how does accepting that it is not perfect, that even good things you’ve experienced may have been difficult for others help you in your walk with God? How comfortable are you with having a “complex” story?
Exodus 12:37-38 (NET)