Comments are off for this post

{March 29, 2020}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

 

From Last to First: Connection in Isolation

By Marnie Vasquez

“Who you are
when you’re interrupted
is who you really are.”
–C S Lewis

My routine has changed. I get out of bed at 6:30 am. Feed the dog. Take her for a walk.

It’s eerily wonderful out at this time of day. No cars racing off to work or school, no landscapers cutting grass and pruning bushes, no workers building homes, most homes still tucked in bed with few, few lights on. So still. So peaceful. The sun slowly starts to come out and the sky starts to break open with pinks, purples, greys and blues.

Most mornings I think about Psalm 62. And how our today reminds me of Moses and his people wandering around the desert for 40 years. That group believed and followed God’s orders, then grew restless, bored, wanted something different and started to stray. Their life got worse, God had to interrupt, Moses had to help the people repent and bring them back to God and a good life. Again and again this happened.

My mind blanks. Then wanders. Then goes down the list of all the things I don’t like about myself. I get mad for those thoughts. I take a deep breath. Usually a few. Refocus on everything I am thankful for, remind myself of the gifts God has given me. I keep walking. My mind blanks again. I don’t know what to pray, or what to say to Jesus during this time. But every morning, I look up at the hugeness of the sky, and step by step, I murmur the Lord’s prayer. That feels good.

This COVID-19 interruption finds me in the same doubting-in-myself-Jesus-pulling-me-back-up cycle. On one hand it pains me to state that. On the flip side, I feel overwhelmed that Jesus hasn’t forgotten me, still loves me, still wants me, still chases after me. I’m part of His story. That’s what Moses and their wandering in the wilderness reminds me of, daily.

So, for now, I will get up each day, feed the dog, take her for a walk, think of Psalm 62, and murmur the Lord’s prayer.

Psalm 62:5-8:
Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
     for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
     my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
     He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
     Pour out your heart to him,
     for God is our refuge.

What new small routines are you putting in place to connect with Jesus?

 

{sunday 3.29.20}

Read Psalm 62:5-8

Observe, Reflect, Apply:  What new small routines are you putting in place to connect with Jesus? What are you declaring about God this week?

 

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

By Allison Antrim

THE JOURNEY VIDEOS: 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. New posts will appear each day. 

{monday 3.30.20}

Read Luke 21:5-28

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The signs of the end times that Jesus mentions in this passage are pretty scary. Honestly, it’s hard to read that “plagues” will occur and not ask myself if He is referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. But I notice that as Jesus is describing the darkness and difficutly of the end times, He gives His followers instructions to follow, like: don’t follow the people who claim to be Jesus or claim to know when the world is ending; don’t be terrified about wars; don’t defend yourselves; and finally, when you see all the things Jesus talked about, “straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (v. 28). Only God knows when the final chapter of our world will draw to a close. In the meantime, He has told us to trust Him and follow Him only. Bad things will come before Jesus’s return, but we don’t have to be afraid because we know that He will be with us, and He will fix everything. How can you trust Jesus during the uncertain times you’re living in now?

{tuesday 3.31.20}

Read Luke 21:29-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: After telling His followers about the end times, Jesus instructs them to pay attention, using the phrases “be on guard” and “keep on the alert.” These words make me think of soldiers scanning the horizon, looking for any signs of trouble so they won’t be surprised by what happens and will be ready to do whatever comes next. It’s easy to get distracted by the things and people that fill up our days, but failing to pray and ask God to build up our strength for His return will make things a lot worse for us than He intends them to be. We are to be watchful, not so we can act in our own strength on our own behalf, but so we can trust the Lord to fulfill His promises and be ready to greet Him face-to-face. How can you “be on guard” in your day-to-day life as you look ahead to Jesus’ return?

{wednesday 4.1.20}

Read Luke 22:1-13

Observe, Reflect, Apply: The Feast of Unleavened Bread was one of the most important holidays for the Jewish people, and the preparations for it were critical. I’m struck in this passage by Jesus’ careful planning and foreknowledge for the last Passover meal He would share with His friends before His return. First, He tells Peter and John everything to look for in order to get the Passover meal ready, and then, they get to see everything unfold exactly like He said it would. God knows everything, down to the smallest detail, and that gives me great comfort when I think about all the unknowns in my life. He is in control, and I can trust him. What is going on in your life that seems very complicated and murky to you? What would it look like for you to trust God with the unknown details of those things?

{thursday 4.2.20}

Read Luke 22:14-38

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Here Luke gives us a seat at the table during one of the most famous dinners in all of history. During the Last Supper, Jesus says that the bread they’re going to eat is His body and that the wine that they’re going to drink is the new covenant of His blood. These metaphors will become reality a number of hours later, when Jesus will die on a cross and accomplish what no one but Him could do. His death and resurrection means that the human hunger of the spirit – for love, for acceptance, for meaning – could be fully satisfied. Instead of painting lamb’s blood on our doors to protect us from God’s judgement, like the Jewish people did under Moses, the blood of Jesus has sealed our hearts so that we are made perfect under Jesus, despite all the wrong things we’ve done or will do. I love that God used bread and wine to help us understand the miraculous rescue He was about to perform for all people who would believe that He did it. What hunger has Jesus satisfied for you?

{friday 4.3.20}

Read Luke 22:39-53

Observe, Reflect, Apply: We get to lean in close in this passage and witness Jesus’s intimate prayer to His Father. He asks God to “remove this cup from me,” yet also insists that God’s will is the one that should be done. Luke tells us that Jesus was praying with such intensity that “His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.” We only see this detail in Luke’s gospel, and it may have stuck out to him because he was a doctor by trade. If you do a Google search for “sweating drops of blood,” the highlighted article at the top defines this phenomenon as a rare condition called hematidrosis. Not much is known about it except that it may be triggered by severe stress and anxiety. The humanity of Jesus, expressed through this very physical description, always moves me. It shows me that I’m not sinning when I feel stressed or anxious, because Jesus never sinned, and it models for me how to be honest about my fear before God while also turning things over for His will to be done. How can you let God’s will be done in something you’re stressed or anxious about this week?

 

{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!

 

© 2020 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

Unsubscribe from The Journey.

Sign
up
to receive our future emails.

 


Comments are closed.