The Great Liberator: Experience the Epic!
Feb.7 - Mar.21, 2021
The Promise of Liberation
March 21, 2021 • Michael Krause
As you watch the events of our world unfold around you, where do you imagine the world is headed? The COVID-19 vaccine spreading around the world might suggest that with the help of science and technology things are getting better. The political and social unrest we've witnessed might suggest that the things are getting worse. Extreme poverty is falling, but the gap between the rich and poor is growing. Racial tensions abound, though they often go unrecognized and unnamed. But where is it all going? Where will it end? And what is God doing in the midst of it all?
The Pathway of Liberation
March 14, 2021 • Michael Krause
Have you ever felt "trapped" by your circumstances or anxious about where your life is headed? Sometimes we are trapped by the bad choices that we ourselves have made, which are destined to eventually self-destruct. At other times, we can find ourselves trapped despite our good choices, which have been disrupted by others' bad (or good!) intentions or circumstances beyond anyone's control. Sometimes we can feel trapped even though we've faithfully chosen to do pursue God's purposes for us! What do you do when you feel trapped by your circumstances? And where is God in all of this?
The People of Liberation
March 7, 2021 • Michael Krause
How would you describe yourself to others? In other words, what do you consider to be part of your fundamental identity, part of who you really are? We always start with our name, to let people know who and whose we are. Many of us introduce ourselves by telling people what we do for a living, as though our work is part of who we are. Those who have families of their own will often name them. Sometimes we list our country of origin, our major accomplishments, our alma mater, or other distinguishing features. How would God describe us? What does God consider to be our fundamental identity?
The Practices of Liberation
February 28, 2021 • Michael Krause
What is the purpose of gathering together for worship? We make it a habit to carve out an hour or so each week to do things that seem unnatural in every other part of our life. We engage in a communal sing-song, engage in strange practices like "breath prayer" and meditation, read from a book that is thousands of years old and then listen to a 20 minute lecture about it, thinking about themes that can seem disconnected from the rest of our lives. Why do we do it? What is it for, inspiration? Information? Instruction? What is the purpose of this ritual we keep choosing to participate in?
The Posture of Liberation
February 21, 2021 • Jeff Lockyer
Can you think of a lesson that you had to learn the hard way? Maybe it was a career move that didn't go as planned, a disastrous relationship, or a conversation that blew up in your face. In the 20/20 vision of hindsight, you can see that the signs were there from the beginning that this wouldn't go as you hoped, but you just couldn't see it at the time, or bring yourself to choose something different. Too often, it seems like it has to be a bad experience to be a learning experience. But what if didn't have to be that way? What if we could learn to see reality for what it is, and respond accordingly? How would that change our lives?
The Purpose of Liberation
February 14, 2021 • Michael Krause
Why is spirituality an important part of your life? What do you hope to get out of making religious participation a priority? Perhaps some of us are thinking about the next life more than this one, about what happens after we die. Others may be looking for relief from the guilt and shame they feel. Perhaps still others are hoping for God to "bless" their lives with a family, meaningful work, and material comfort. But what if God's purposes are higher and greater than just what God can accomplish for me in my life? What is the goal of God's powerful loving, saving activity in our lives?
The Power of Liberation
February 7, 2021 • Michael Krause
What would you say is the most important factor in achieving the life you've always wanted? Some people believe that it is money that makes the world go round, while others insist that politics has the greatest influence on the quality of our life. Others believe that education matters most, or marriage and family, or travel and entertainment But what if there was something more powerful than all of these things, a power that can actually do what we hope and set us free to experience what Jesus described as "life until it overflows"? And what would it look like to cooperate with that power for our world?