{November 28, 2021}






Heartland Community Church


THE JOURNEY

PREPARE HIM ROOM: Wonder

By Lisa Zulke

Wonder. It has a dual meaning. A feeling of surprise, mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar or inexplicable. Also, desire to know something. Also, to doubt.

As a seeker of knowledge and understanding I wrestle with doubt on the daily. I want to be wowed. Amazed. Awestruck. Yet my nature gravitates to doubt. To figuring it out, filling the gaps, and making things make sense. I would have struggled in Jesus’ day, relying only on oral tradition or what my eyes actually see.

That’s the crazy thing about wonder. When my eyes actually see the inexplicable unfolding in front of me…it takes my breath away. Awestruck, I can only celebrate, exclaim out loud, soak it in.

How do we cultivate our ability to encounter Jesus in wonder and awe? Particularly when we are traveling a patch of life that is painful, confusing, and void of beautiful, unexpected surprises. Or maybe just traveling through a plateau, a place where life is slighly common, not mysterious. Our teaching today offered a few lenses to view our lives and our encounters through:

1. Believe the promise of God
2. See the gift that Jesus is
3. Worship the giver

Believing in the promise…that God will do what he said he would do…is a challenge for a doubter. When I’m having a hard time, I am thankful for friends who stand in the gap, and remind me of where we have seen God show up. They remind, encourage, shake me and carry me back to believing in faith.

Seeing the gift that Jesus is has been a beautiful series of chapters in my life. But keeping it real, it has also been a few chapters of loss, missteps, and what seems like a giant valley between me and the hope that Jesus was born to bring to you and I. In those valley places, where life seems dark, cold and shadowy, I find myself seeking experiences that take my breath away. Hiking. Getting out on the water. Climbing out on the edges of things, to feel that sensation of Jesus coming near. These moments ground me, and remind me that even in the dark, shadowy places, Jesus walks.

Worship the giver is something I want to express more freely. I’m that person who can’t really sing. Can’t plan an instrument. And too often we make worship about only music. To be sure, music is a beautiful expression of worship, but there are many ways we can turn our eyes to Jesus in thanks. It might be sitting in a patch of sunshine, climbing up a ridge to view the landscape around you, drawing, cooking, or observing people, birds, the prairie grasses swaying, the leaves in the trees rustling.

How do you cultivate the ability to encounter Jesus in wonder and awe? I’d love to hear your ideas or struggles. Let’s join together this month and practice wonder in some new ways.

Jesus, would you meet us in our practice of finding you in the everyday, and in the vast and magnificent? Would you rouse us to see and celebrate your gifts? Would you awaken us in awe. Amen…

 

{sunday 11.28.21}

Read Luke 2:18-20

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Have you ever hoped something would happen? Or been told that something incredible is about to happen? Do you wait, watch, and wonder about the coming thing quietly, in your own mind? Or are you a shout it fromt he rooftops, everyone will hear from you this is coming? Both responses are appropriate…to wonder in our hearts over the coming promise, or to wonder as it happens. Is this real? Can I trust it? Or, to go, and tell everyone who will listen what we have seen, heard, experienced. How and where can you wonder in private, and share wonder out loud with the people in your life?

 

{bible reading plan}

By Lisa Zulke

{monday 11.29.21}

Read Isaiah 9:1-4

Observe, Reflect, Apply: "The people who walked in darkness will see a great light…" Can you imagine? Being in the desert the night Jesus was born, and the star rose high in the sky, shining down over the scene of the Savior’s birth? In their oral traditions, that night would have reminded them of this promise, and many more that were scattered throughout the Bible. The One who was promised, is here noe, to set us free, to shine a light, to bring hope and rescue. Take some time today to wonder what that moment would have been like…and to find a connect from this foretelling to your own experience of the hope of Jesus.

{tuesday 11.30.21}

Read Isaiah 9:5-8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Choose the phrase that names what Jesus has been to you this past year. Or, choose the phrase that you need him to be for you…even if you are still pondering who Jesus is. Take that name throughout your day and "wonder" on it. What would it look like for Jesus to be that in your life this week?

{wednesday 12.1.21}

Read Isaiah 7:10-14

Observe, Reflect, Apply: Isaiah shared the sign that the people could look for to know that Jesus had arrived. How did you first experience the Christmast story of Jesus’ birth? How do you celebrate or recognize his birth today? Do you have people in your life that you share the celebration of Jesus with? Consider reflecting back over the past year, and sharing any signs/wonders that you had that you believe were from Jesus.

{thursday 12.2.21}

Read Jeremiah 23:5-8

Observe, Reflect, Apply: These words spoken by the prophet were offered to the people of Israel…but they ring true for all who follow Jesus today. We have access to hope, to rescue, to being embraced as part of God’s family, through the birth of Jesus. If you are a Jesus follower, consider how you received this gift of hope and share that with someone. If you are exploring who Jesus is, name any of the questions you have about being embraced in God’s family, about the hope of Jesus. Consider asking your questions to someone you trust that you think is a Jesus follower.

{friday 12.3.21}

Read Matthew 1:22-23

Observe, Reflect, Apply: God is with us. As declared throughout scripture, and fulfilled as Jesus arrived on this earth as a babe. How might we each cultivate more wonder and awareness of his presence in our daily comings and goings? How might we be conduits to his presence in all the spaces we occupy each week?

{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 the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

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!

 

© 2021 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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