AUGUST 2, 2020
10:15am I Facebook Live
In her book Waging Peace, former combat medic (and friend) Diana Oestreich writes about how the experience of combat changed her whole life. Her view of God, war, other people…everything. She grew up in a family of patriotic, church-going soldiers and signed up for the Guard herself at 17. But it wasn’t until she was called up and dropped into Iraq that she started to really understand things. She started to see that reality didn’t match the rhetoric, that the easy propaganda didn’t represent the complexity of the world as it was outside of the rural-Minnesota bubble she grew up in.
The experience changed her, caused her to reevaluate what she believed.
The same thing is happening to the Jesus-followers in Acts. They thought they knew what they were getting into, but they didn’t really know until they went out in obedience to the direction of Jesus.
And that changed everything.
It changed everything for the early followers of Jesus, the Church that was formed in the stories that we’ve studied in Acts over these two summers, and well after the book closes.
And it changes everything for us. Because while the book of Acts ends with chapter 27, the story of the Church hasn’t.
So what does this mean for Grace Church? Let’s dig in this week and find out.
Grace and peace, y’all,
J. Ray and the teaching team
Question of the Week
What is your most consistent spiritual discipline?
Teaching: Find the passage ACTS
The Big Idea:
The Church was formed by its response to the call and direction to be Jesus’ witnesses.
For two consecutive summers, Grace Church has studied the book of Acts. We’ve asked Acts questions and let the book ask us questions back. It’s been quite a ride, and many things have changed significantly at Grace since we first started the study.
Questions for personal or group reflection and study:
Reflect on our study of Acts. What are the most significant things you’ve learned? What are the questions you still have?
Grace Church, we’ve been baptized with both water and Spirit to be witnesses of the Good News of Jesus Christ here in the Northwest Arkansas, the United State and the whole wide world. Let us go now and learn what it means to live in the truth that the Kingdom of God is here through repentance, faith, obedience and above all love. In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
For the Kids and their Families
The book of Acts is normally known for telling the exciting stories of the early church, and many believers often pine for the close community and boldness of the believers at that time.
What an interesting situation we are in now, when we are not able to meet in the physical sanctuary, which has come to mean “church” to many of us! As you’re guiding your children in worship, prayer, and outreach outside of the physical building at 2828, have a talk:
What does it mean for our family, right now, to be the church?
Get some roll paper and trace around the hands and feet of your family members. Talk about what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world. Outline your tracings with colorful markers, and then add verbs that put actions on those acts.
Ideas: reaching out to others; sending cards, letters, texts, drawings to older folks who are isolated; sharing food with the hungry; collecting coins to purchase towels for the upcoming 7hills towel drive; singing songs of worship; being thankful; gathering with other believers; praying for the sick; seeking justice and fairness, etc.
Hang your banner by your dinner table, or fly it as a flag.
Learn the song, I am the Church!
For Further Reflection & Action:
What is the job description of the Christian?
Waging Peace: One Soldier’s Story of Putting Love First