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I’m not a “Super bowl Scrooge”, I’m really not. I enjoy watching the game with all its glitz and hype. I’ve followed the teams as they’ve worked their way through the regular season and playoffs. I’ll have my opinions and observations on the outcome (and the commercials) just like everyone else. I’ll also be ready at 4:00pm this Sunday to meet with a vastly smaller group of people to celebrate something else, to watch as rhythms of prayer and worship, communion and benediction play out. I’ll connect in a much less conspicuous way with people who, like myself, will never have a multi-million dollar contract, date a superstar, sell jerseys with their name on the back or have their face broadcast to billions of adoring fans. That’s mostly because while I enjoy the spectacle of sports and the transient connection it enables, I can’t live without the humble, enduring and eternal community of the people of the Church. The sports thing will fade away. The Church is something else altogether. Both offer a form of community, and none of us can live without community. But only one offers something far beyond the fanfare, deeper than the confetti showered on the victors, much more meaningful than a silver trophy.

I promise we’ll keep the service tight and you’ll be home in time for kickoff, but before that, let’s gather and root into something that will long outlive what we will root for later.

Grace and peace y’all,

John Ray and the teaching team

Big Idea

Sabbath can’t truly be practiced alone. It takes a unique community and helps build and maintain the community it needs.

Take Away

Walter Brueggemann wrote “The formation of Israel is narrated as a process whereby YHWH’s power transformed “no people” into “this people””. This new identity is nurtured and maintained by the communal practice of Sabbath.


1 Peter 2:9 (NET)

How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?

At Grace, we practice radical hospitality, the invitation to all who would to belong, as a reflection of the community we ourselves have been invited into. This practice helps us become more and more integrated into this community. This is both informed by and informs what we confess to believe.


What’s Next?

We kick off our series on digging into the book of Hebrews.

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Grace Church of Northwest Arkansas is a nondenominational community of Christ-followers committed to loving others, living out the Gospel and serving in Jesus’ name. We stand with the marginalized and welcome folks of all races, genders, and sexual orientations.

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