{May 20, 2018}

Heartland Community Church


May 20 – 26, 2018


A Variegated People: We Get To Be That

By Meghan Hemenway

My son is colorblind. I think it is technically a red-green blindness, but grass looks brown and when in kindergarten I asked him to tell me about his classmates he told me the boy sitting next to him in class had green skin and green hair. How do you talk about skin color or race with someone who literally cannot see the world the same way you do?

In first grade he came home upset because a girl in his class had called him "butter hair." My husband and I laughed about that one for awhile, but not in front of our upset son. We imagined that to his young classmate our son’s admittedly yellow blonde hair was best described as, well, butter.

I wish I could show you a photo I took at field day last week of my son’s friends. Imagine a less artistic version of the Angelica Dass photograph, Humanae, Dan showed us on Sunday. It is of a bunch of boys, not one with the same colored skin, making bunny ears and cheesy grins. These young people are looking around every day and seeing kids who look different than themselves. Sometimes I worry that as adults we just end up passing on our own biases and discoloring their view of the world. They leave school and come home to less variegated homes and neighborhoods. But sometimes I think of that passage in Revelation and believe that these kids won’t be one bit surprised when they see the beauty of God’s colorful masterpiece all together again. "After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9)

What Paul said to the Ephesians and what we should hear for our lives today is that God’s plan isn’t for everyone to look and act the same. His plan is, and has always been, for all his variegated people to have a way to come home and worship all together at one big family table. There isn’t just space for our differences in God’s house, there is joy and purpose in them because his creative masterpiece will finally be complete. We get to be part of that. We get to be part of racial unity now so all God’s people will hear that they are part of his plan and his beautiful masterpiece.

{sunday 5.20.18}

Read Ephesians 2:13-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Dan’s question to us was: Will you be a Paul? Will you ask God to give you a heart for his people and to open your eye to injustices and biases you see? Where in your life are there places for unity in place of division?


{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.

To dive deeper into Mark 13-14, CLICK HERE or on the video below to check out a short teaching from our own Seth Davidson.


{monday 5.21.18}

Read Mark 12:35-44

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The widow gives more out of her poverty than the others were out of their wealth. What does this mean to you? Share you thoughts and discuss this part of the scripture with a trusted group or friend.

{tuesday 5.22.18}

Read Mark 13:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus foretells of bad things that will happen in the world, but what does he tell the apostles to do? Where should our focus be? Do you get distracted by world events?

{wednesday 5.23.18}

Read Mark 13:14-27

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus warns against false Messiahs coming and claiming to be him. What does a false Messiah look like to you? How can you tell?

{thursday 5.24.18}

Read Mark 13:28-37

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Jesus is very clear that we don’t know when the end will come. Should we worry about how and when the end will come? What should we focus on?

{friday 5.25.18}

Read Mark 14:1-11

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Like any other organization of people, we hear complaining from people about how other people wasted resources of the group in this passage. I would like to pretend if that I was there I would have not been one of them. In reality, I would have been with the others questioning why she wasted something so valuable. What does this passage tell us about people in general? What does this passage tell you about yourself?

{saturday 5.26.18}

Read Mark 14:12-31

Observe, Reflect, Apply: This portion of the scripture does not make the apostles look like great and mighty men. They betray Jesus and run away scared after declaring they would fight and die for him. The apostles do live up to their claims later on, but at this time they fall short of the bravado. Have you ever failed at something you were confident you would succeed in? How did you feel? How do you feel about it now?


{community discussion questions}

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 a Journey Community 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 on your journey.

  • Can you name a 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 to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources).

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

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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