To RECONNECT is to intentionally engage again. We reconnect only when we realize we have a need, we’ve been missing something, or when we want to move forward. This summer we take time to reconnect to the essential relationships (with God, with one another, and with our community at large).
June 4 (Pentecost) - God Connects (INTRODUCING THE RE: cONnect Series)
At Pentecost, we see that God wants to connect to us, and his Holy Spirit is sent to do just that. As Luther says in his Small Catechism – “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.” Join us this summer as we explore how God calls us to connect and reconnect with three key relationships – With God, With our Family and Church, and with our Community. (Acts 2:1-21; John 7:37-39)
RECONNECT WITH GOD
June 11 – The One Thing We Never Fully Learn (Re: cONnect to Grace)
We live in a world full of Law (thankfully!) and we are built to understand it naturally. When Jesus comes along and gives us the Gospel, the message of love that us unearned, and undeserved, we have trouble knowing what to do with this message. It is so GOOD, yet it is so impossible to understand. One reason, among MANY, that God calls us to gather in his name regularly is that we NEED to be instructed over and over again in the Gospel. It’s a lesson we never FULLY learn this side of Heaven, and we need constant reminders that our works don’t save us. Only Christ does that.
(Ephesians 2:8-10; Luke 10:25-37)
June 18 – The Father’s Love (Re: cONnect to God the Father)
It’s Father’s Day! But what can stories of faith-filled Dad’s teach us about our Heavenly Father’s love for us? It turns out… a great deal! (Luke 15:11-32; Genesis 22:1-14)
June 25 – The Hardest Challenge (Re: cONnect to Rest)
Rest is a COMMAND, because its harder to do than we think! Rest fosters faith and trust in God, and it also is a way to keep idolatry at bay. We are HORRIBLE at resting, and there is a huge cost to our culture. What does God have to tell us about the COMMAND to REST?
(Rest fights Idolatry Exodus 23:10-13; Exodus 31:12-18)
June 2 – Meeting God Again (Re: cONnect to Worship)
Worship will bring us into a famine whether we go or not. If we go, we are called into a famine of the instantaneous, into a famine of all the devices that cry out for our devotion, and it is hard! But if we neglect worship, we are called into a famine of God’s Word, and his touch in our lives. Every week we choose which famine we want. A siege policy brought about horrors for people inside the city gates. So often we initiate a siege on our own souls, we starve ourselves, and the results are horrible. We do this as we live in a time when access to churches and the Word are as prevalent as ever.
(John 4:4-30; Psalm 42; Amos 8:10-11)
RECONNECT WITH EACH OTHER (THE CHURCH)
July 9 – Meeting the Church Again (Re: cONnect to the Body of Christ)
Christianity is so much more than just “Me and Jesus.” When Christ ascended into heaven he gave us the gift of the church, and Paul uses some wonderful imagery to teach us exactly how deep a commitment “church membership” is by showing that we are actually all valued members of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; John 15:5-17)
July 16 – Meeting my Family Again (Re: cONnect with family we’ve been given, and the one we’ve chosen)
We can talk about family in a lot of different ways. We have the family we are born into, the family we create through marriage, the family that we choose – which is comprised of people we have chosen to invite into our lives. The Bible is full of all kinds of examples of family – some great, and some downright horrible! Today we will explore the deep bonds that arise from a choice to treat someone like part of God’s family. This will have implications for ALL of our important relationships – with our spouse, with our friends, with our children and parents, and with our church.
(David and Jonathan 1 Samuel 18:1-5; John 15:11-17)
July 23 – God’s Glorious Inefficiency (Re: cONnect with building relationships)
Like learning any language, there are no shortcuts to learning the language of relationships. It takes time, effort, choice, and sacrifice to truly form deep, meaningful, and lasting bonds. We live in the midst of a culture that lets the Tyranny of the Immediate reign in our lives. God call us to rebel and invest in relationships and be willing to enter into the glorious inefficiencies of being lovingly involved in the lives of others. We can learn from the whole trajectory of Scripture, and how God let’s his story of love unfold over millennia!
(Hebrews 1:1-3; Ephesians 4:1-6; Mark 4:26-32)
July 30 – What About When I’m Gone? (Re: cONnect with the Next Generation)
We live in times when we are constantly oppressed by the “tyranny of the immediate.” We don’t want to learn from history, or think about the future. Building the church is more about being the “living stones” of a cathedral, and less like being the drywall on a dividing wall in a mall display. Almost ¼ of King David’s Psalms deal with the idea of passing the faith on to the next generation. How do we think about connecting with a “generation yet unborn?”
(John 17:20-1; Psalm 78:1-7)
RECONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY
August 6 – Accelerating Mission by Hitting the Brakes (Re: cONnect with Being Sent)
We go, go, go… but it would be better to go with a purpose, know who we need to go to, and why we are going. God calls us to be willing to slow down, and get to know the people around us, their needs, their hurts, and to appreciate them as whole people. God gives us the command to GO! But sometimes that command looks like hitting the brakes, slowing down, and taking the time to REALLY see the people around us. (John 4:1-28 ; Job 2:11-13)
August 13 – SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER, Justin Kron (Re: cONnect with the Old Testament)
Justin Kron will join us again to teach us about the Jewish Roots of Pentecost, and how Jesus is a fulfillment of this festival. Justin is an amazing speaker and so knowledgeable about the Jewish roots of Christianity and the ministry of Jesus. You won’t want to miss this week!
(Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 24:44-53; Acts 2:1-8)
August 20 – Using the Eyes of our Hearts (Re: cONnect with Christian Awareness)
This week we will be visited by the Comfort Dogs from Lutheran Church Charities. As we learn from Lutheran Church Charities about getting more involved with our community, we will explore the idea of beginning a Comfort Dog Ministry here at St. Andrews. God calls us to be aware and active in addressing the needs of the people around us. Let’s respond to that call!
(Ephesians 1:16-23; Matthew 5:1-16)
August 27 – How Will They Know Us? (Re: cONnect with sacrificial service)
For 20 Centuries, Christians have been known for their loving service of others. The times of great growth for the church have come when Christians chose to be Radically Sacrificial in service during times of great tragedy. How are people to know we are Christians? Not by our name, or how we dress, or what we call ourselves – they are to know us by our love.
(John 13:3—17; 33-35 1 John 3:14-18)