Sunday, January 13th, 2013
by Dion Frasier
What If... We met Jesus afresh every day?
Primary text(s): Luke 19:1-10
Are we robbing ourselves of the deeper realities of the Christian faith by eliminating the imagination from our experience? Our imaginations are not a collection of fable and fairy tales. They are part of living and part of our collective experience as followers of Jesus. The Lord has always communicated his imaginative reflections to his people. He imagined a people who would be a holy nation and a royal priesthood. Jesus imagined that his disciples would love in the exact same way that he loved. His imagination and dream for his people have not always been realized, but it doesn't stop him from dreaming or imagining. We don?t question God?s imagination do we?
We were made in the image of God so it stands to reason that we would have imaginations as well. Some have said that the imagination is one of God?s greatest gift to humans and it is sometimes the most under-utilized gift in the church. During the first part of the year 2013, we will probe the imagination by asking a series of "What if" questions. Asking "what if" questions assumes that we are not afraid to ask questions and that we are not afraid to probe the imagination.
Accompanying sermons that probe the imagination will be a series of daily challenges. I am praying that you will join together with me in this adventure of discovery. I am praying that you join in with this journey. Resist the temptation to dismiss the imagination with thoughts of self-induced realities (i.e. "We could never do that," "That will never happen," or "That will never work"). Rather, open your hearts and minds to the imagination that God has given you and the church and the imagination of God himself.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." ? Albert Einstein
"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities." ? Dr. Seuss
"The man who has no imagination has no wings." - Muhammad Ali
Primary text(s): Luke 19:1-10
Primary text(s): John 3:1-15
Primary text(s): Luke 13:10-21
Primary text(s): Nehemiah 1:1-11; Jeremiah 7:21-26; Jeremiah 11:6-16; Ezra 9:6-15
Primary text(s): Ezra 6:13-22, Nehemiah 6:1-9
Primary text(s): Nehemiah 9:1-8, Genesis 12:1-3, Deuteronomy 7:11-14, Matthew 5:3-12
Primary text(s): Ezra 6:16-22, Numbers 6:22-27, Luke 6:27-37
Primary text(s): Matthew 17:14-20, Hebrews 11:6, Hebrews 12:2-3, Genesis 19:23-26, Ephesians 3:20-21
Primary text(s): 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
Primary text(s): Acts 10:34-43, Genesis 3:1-4, Revelation 12:10-11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Prior to the invention of the printing press by Guttenberg, there were few copies of the Bible available. As such, church communities relied on the art of listening in communal worship and gatherings. Today, there are billions of copies of the bible available, yet we still struggle with listening. Whether we are praying or reading scripture, we need to be a listening community. During this worship experience, we will read through Psalm 119. There will be limited commentary on the text. We will engage in the simple act of reading and listening.
Primary text(s): Psalm 119:1-176; 2 Timothy 3:14-17
The most consistent practice of the people of God from the beginning until now is the practice of prayer. As we explore the prayer offered by Solomon at the dedication of the temple, we will look at what it means to become a community shaped through prayer.
Primary text(s): 2 Chronicles 7:11-16; Deuteronomy 4:7; James 5:13-16; Acts 17:27-28; 2 Chronicles 6:14-15; 2 Chronicles 6:18-21; 2 Chronicles 6:24-27; 2 Chronicles 7:12-14
The plight of churches of Christ throughout the American Restoration Movement has been one marred with debate, division and discord over the interpretation of some biblical passages. Most of the discord flows from good intentions to be accurate in interpretation, but also an unwillingness to wrestle with the tension often offered in scripture. What do we do when that which we want to be clear, isn?t as clear as we suppose?
Primary text(s): Acts 17:10-12; Luke 6:27-28; Judges 11:31-34; John 5:37-40