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{The Journey, May 21, 2017}

 

May 21 – 27, 2017

 

{Party Hard: Eating Together}

By Debbie Kirk

If there is one thing every person on this planet needs, it’s food. We simply cannot live without it. As ordinary as it might sound, Jesus was brilliant (duh) in using food as a common denominator for bringing people together. On the surface it sounds so elementary, but peel back the layers and its significance intertwines with our very souls.

We have lived in our same neighborhood for 25 years. In today’s message Pastor Greg shared a statistic that the average household eats 21 meals per week. This means that over the course of 25 years we have eaten 27,375 meals in this place we call home. We haven’t kept a record of meals shared with our neighbors over the past 25 years but I am painfully aware that if we had, the number would have amounted to a few crumbs on our plate.

It’s not like we don’t know them or like them. We say hello and wave on a daily basis. We interrupt our walk to catch up for a few minutes. We buy cookies from their kids. We watch each other’s homes when we go out of town. You know, the normal neighborly stuff. Sadly, when it came to getting up the gumption to invite any of them over for a meal, “life” took the lead and filled in all the extra spaces. That’s assuming we had a burning desire to share a meal in the first place. Ouch, these words are hard to type.

Is it just me or is it more often than not, easier to just run on into the house than to stop, walk across the street and talk? Isn’t it difficult enough just to get the meals prepared and on the table for our own families let alone adding extra people to the mix? I wish this was not the case, but so often it is. Maybe after 25 years it’s time to put a stop to this nonsense.

God has been working on our hearts in this area over the last couple of years. This food Jesus talks about is life giving. It is story sharing. Heart opening. The nutritional value in a meal shared goes far beyond our physical well-being. We know this, don’t we? Sitting around a table with another human connects us on a level that a handshake cannot. It could mean sharing right on past the superficial to what really matters in this life. Jesus knew this.

I am thankful that I serve a God who is patient with me. My neighbors are patient as well. May the wait be over. There is no time like the present! Time to party hard!

{sunday 5.21.17}

Read Luke 14:12-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: How are you doing on meal sharing? Do you feel afraid or uncomfortable to ask neighbors or strangers into your home? What if someone you don’t know well would love the idea of sharing a meal?  Would you be willing to begin by inviting them within the week?

Miss the Sunday teaching? CLICK HERE to watch now!

 

{personal reflection and bible reading plan}

As you read the verses each day, make notes of questions you have about what you’re reading as well as answering the reflection questions below. Grab a friend or two to discuss what you are learning and what God is doing in your lives.

CLICK HERE to check out our latest video resource from Seth Davidson, The Journey Continues. It connects the dots from the past weeks’ readings to the current readings.

 

{monday 5.22.17}

Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Reading this portion of the bible you can tell this is a letter Paul was writing to the people of Corinth. It’s detailed with how to accomplish particular tasks, and when he plans to visit. It’s the kind of thing you expect to find tucked away in a drawer or box on a shelf. This level of intimacy we get to read reveals how very real these people where from 2,000 years ago. What do you think people 2,000 years from now would learn about you and Heartland Community Church if they could read our letters (emails)?

{tuesday 5.23.17}

Read 1 Corinthians 16:12-24

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In reading this letter from Paul you can see the small communities of people who are following Jesus wanting to say hello to each other. They could not travel with ease to see each other and Facebook didn’t exist yet. They had a desire to know and encourage each other. Do you have a community you are a part of? Have you found your people, where you work, study, play or live? If not, how will you find them? If so, do you know other communities that are forming that you can encourage and say hello to?

{wednesday 5.24.17}

Read 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In Paul’s second letter to Corinth he starts off with encouragement and gets quickly to the hard times they have faced. So hard they gave up on life itself. Paul says this was so they would quit relying on themselves and rely on God. I’ve been at this point in my life a couple times. It’s terrible, but when we do finally rely on God it’s amazing. Have you experienced similar times yourself? Share your experience with someone you know and trust.

{thursday 5.25.17}

Read 2 Corinthians 1:12-22

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Paul is telling the people in Corinth that the Jesus they’ve heard about is not a yes-and-no person but that in him it always yes. The “yes” Paul is talking about are the promises kept through Jesus. Paul goes on further to say that we say “Yes” to God with “Amen” in our prayers. What might God be asking of you to say “yes” to? If you don’t know, pray for God to reveal what he wants your next yes to be.

{friday 5.26.17}

Read 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Take 5 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about the word “sad”. The only guidelines are: 1) Do NOT stop writing for the entire 5 minutes. 2)  Do NOT self-edit as you write. Share what you wrote with someone.

{saturday 5.27.17}

Read 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: N.T. Wright has translated part of this scripture as, “For if the thing which was to be abolished (death) came with glory, how much more glory will there be for the thing that lasts?" When a person dies in war, saving a child or any other numerous ways that are self-sacrificing we call them a hero. We’ve given glory to death. Paul wants the people of Corinth (and us) to understand that there is more glory in the things that last forever. Pray about this thought and share your reflection with someone.

{group discussion ideas}

We weren’t meant to experience the life of Jesus alone, so we encourage you to rally a few others to discuss what you are hearing, reading, and reflecting on together. Whether you are meeting as an Heartland group, talking with a few friends throughout the week, or bringing up spiritual conversations around your table at home, feel free to use some of these questions as conversation starters for The Journey.

  • Can you name an ‘takeaway’ or challenge from the Sunday message?
  • How has that been relevant, challenging, or meaningful to your life this week?
  • What have you observed about God, Jesus, yourself, others, or God’s plan for you from these readings?
  • Where do you need a breakthrough from God this week?
  • Who do you need to share what you’re learning about God with?

 

{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get a free Bible for your phone, tablet, and computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

 

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© 2017 Heartland Community Church 12175 S. Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 341-5820.

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