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{December 29, 2019}






Heartland Community Church


December 29, 2019 – January 3, 2020

 

Let There Be Light: Finding Jesus on the Road

By Debbie Kirk

Story books are always at the top of my gift list for the kiddos at Christmas. This year I discovered some that I hoped they would love in the “Shine A Light” series with Usborne Books. They are stories about everything from apple trees to outer space and the cool thing about them, is that without a source of light you will only know part of the story. The other part is hidden until a flashlight held up behind the page you are reading, reveals pictures that make the story come alive. The joy and awe on their faces as they discover the whole story, makes these books extra special.

The story God tells might seem like an ordinary one, without spiritual eyes. We might miss the parts that make the story come alive if we only view what’s on the surface, quickly glancing over treasure that might be down a bit deeper or in between the lines. Not to say that God doesn’t speak clearly, because he does. But to those in darkness, joy and awe can seem like a fable.

We, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, can be walking along and miss what’s right in front of us. The light of the world was right there with them! They could feel their hearts stirring and they wanted to be with him even before they knew it was him. They invited him in and in a moment, the bread was broken and the light broke through! I can imagine the joy and awe on their faces as they discovered the whole story! Their spiritual eyes had been opened and what was hidden was revealed. Jesus was alive!

Shibu’s son, Robbie, was spot on as he shared what had been on his heart this past week. He reminded us that when we sing a song, to pay attention to the words, not just sing them. He asked us to think about them and what they are saying. He challenged us to live them out and love others. Out of the mouth of babes. And then we sang Reckless Love. Let’s end with part of the chorus as we practice Robbie’s invitation. Sing the words or say the words, either is fine. As you do, may they sink deep into your heart and mind. May God’s light reveal his love for you. Jesus, open our eyes to see the beauty hidden in your story.

There’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me.

There’s no wall you won’t kick down, lie you won’t tear down, coming after me.

{sunday 12.29.19}

Read John 8:12

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Do you believe there is more to the story? Would you agree that Jesus wants to be invited in to sit with you, even today? Is all that meets the eye, unsatisfying? Ask him to shine a light into any dark place and reveal what is hidden. And if you sing a song of praise this week, think about each and every word!

 

{bible reading plan: the story of jesus from luke}

By Marnie Vasquez

This week our daily Journey readings begin our reflections on the story of Jesus in the book of Luke.

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.

The Journey Online: CLICK HERE to subscribe to our Youtube channel, The Journey Online, for a Monday-Friday video post from Seth Davidson that takes us a layer deeper in the scripture reflections.

The Story of Jesus: In addition, this semester we are offering a course, The Story of Jesus, that will pair with our Sunday services and The Journey readings. CLICK HERE to catch a video about it, or CLICK HERE to register. The Story of Jesus begins on January 21, 6:30-8 PM.

 

{monday 12.30.19}

Read Luke 1:1-25

Observe, Reflect, Apply: I wish Luke were alive today equipped with a smartphone and a YouTube channel. The details, rich stories, and accuracy Luke captured about Jesus’ life and those around Jesus would easily become the most viewed YouTube channel. Why? Luke was deeply committed to sharing the evidence he found and witnessed so that Theophilus (and us today) could walk sure-footedly with Jesus. And what Luke shares is anything but boring.

As you read Luke, perhaps read it like you are watching it on YouTube or a series on Netflix. And know these stories are real. This happened. This is the story of a lifetime. The story your lifetime is a part of.

 

{tuesday 12.31.19}

Read Luke 1:26-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Consider your life and the world today. All that’s happening in it, all the horrible and all the amazing things that are happening. Now stop for a moment. Name two great things that would be absolutely impossible to ever happen in your life and this world. Two things. What are they? Say them in your mind or utter them out loud.

If my two things were to happen, it would blow my mind, defy all that I know. And here, Gabriel tells Mary that two impossible things would happen in her life. Two utterly impossible things. And then, those things happened.

Do you see and recognize all the reality-defying moments that happen in the Bible? The Bible is littered with these. Why do you think God chooses to do his work this way?

 

{wednesday 1.1.20}

Read Luke 1:39-45

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Gabriel, an angel sent by God, visited both Zechariah and Mary bringing astonishing, life-changing news to both. Zechariah questioned Gabriel in disbelief, and thus, Zechariah had to go through a season of muteness. Meanwhile, when Gabriel shared God’s will with Mary, Mary replied that she was a servant of God, and “may everything you have said about me come true.”  While Mary’s life carrying a child out of wedlock and walking 90 miles thru terrain while nine months pregnant before delivering Jesus, was no easy task, Mary never disbelieved the power and will of God.

Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, tells Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed….You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

What an incredible compliment. What an incredible role model Mary was and is.

 

{thursday 1.2.20}

Read Luke 1:46-56

Observe, Reflect, Apply: In today’s passage, Luke provides a “window” – a modern YouTube video – into what Mary thinks of God’s will in her life. This window shows how knowledgeable and a student Mary was of the Lord’s work, of the promises God made and kept, and how just and good the Lord is. It’s hard not to feel what Mary’s feeling in this song. Can you feel how she felt?

 

{friday 1.3.20}

Read Luke 1:57-66

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Remember the old man Zechariah who saw Gabriel the angel and didn’t believe what Gabriel told him about God, so Zechariah became mute? Remember him? Well, Zechariah shows back up in Luke’s depiction of Jesus’ life. Zechariah doesn’t know how long he will be mute. Hours pass. Days pass. Weeks. Then months. Still speechless. What will give? When will it end? Or will it?

After everyone left, what do you think Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, spoke about why God choose to mute Zechariah in the first place and then unmute him in this moment?

 

{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.

 

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!

 

© 2019 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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