Living As Loved Ones – Week Two of What’s Next

Last week, I proposed that the first “position” that Christians and communities of faith need to have as we move to a post-pandemic church is to be able to “be present in the moment”. In this week’s sermon, the challenge from God’s Word is to be people who are “living as ‘loved’ ones” – as those who know the transformative power of Jesus’ love in the way we show joy, in how we choose who to love, in the way we are known by Jesus, and in living into the identity of being “chosen”. Below are some clips of that sermon…

Living as Loved Ones – Excerpts from May 9, 2021, First UMC Huntington

After watching the clip, meditate or discuss the following:

In what areas of your life do you find yourself “looking for happiness or satisfaction” rather than bringing the joy that Christ gives to us?

The idea was not explained well in the sermon, however, Jesus’ words showing our love by laying down our lives for our friends can easily be understood as identifying who we think is worthy to be our friend by choosing whether or not we are willing to lay down our life for them. Do you struggle with loving certain groups of people or maybe some person in particular? How would “giving up your ‘self'” in their presence help to heal that relationship?

We can easily get caught up in the act of serving Jesus out of obligation rather than realizing that Jesus’ greatest desire for us is to be in a close relationship with us. How do you keep Jesus at arms length in your life?

How is it different to think that Jesus chose you rather than you having chose Jesus? You must certainly respond to Jesus’ choice, but how is it different knowing that Jesus is the initiator of your relationship with him?

Feel free to discuss any of these in the comments below as well…

Challenge for this week – find some way to remind yourself several times each day that you are loved by Christ.

Being Present in the Moment – Seeking the Seeking

The following can be used with the video clip below as personal reflection or as a discussion starter for a small group.

When you get to the “Challenge” for the week, feel free to leave your reflections about it in the comments sections so others can see.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

When was the last time you experienced a “God Moment” like Philip did in hearing the call to walk that deserted road? Do you think these things still happen?

Philip needed to be “in tune” with the Holy Spirit, what Pastor Scott referred to as being “present in the moment.” What helps you be in that state of mind?

Does grief over the past or anger about the present ever keep you from being in the moment? What can you do about this?

How could a new focus on being present in the moment help your marriage? How would it change your relationship with your children or other family members? How does being present in the moment help you relate differently to the people with whom you work?

Do your own ideas about what your future should be, or what the future of your group should be, or even what the future of the church should be, ever get in the way of you being “present in the moment” where God can speak to you clearly?

Challenge for the week:

Take thirty minutes out of your week this week and just go somewhere you do not normally go so and just be present in the moment. Live through the sights, sounds, smells. When you are home and have time, go back to that place in your mind and listen to what God may have said to you. How were you present in the moment of that new setting?

For the Children

Children can tune out of online worship very easily and this in turn can make worship difficult for the parents.

I am providing here an audio book that can be shared with children – a chapter by chapter reading of C. S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”.

You can use this during the time you are participating in online worship to occupy children with a book that is very Christian in the story that it tells. You can also feel free to use these audio clips at other times in your busy lives. (You can download by using the ‘hamburger’ or three dots on the right of each chapter.)

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11 – Aslan Draws Nearer
Chapter 12 – Peter’s First Battle
Chapter 13 – Deep Magic from the Dawn of Time
Chapter 14 – The Triumph of the Witch
Chapter 15 – Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time
Chapter 16 – What Happened about the Statues
Chapter 17 – The Hunting of the White Stag

You can download and use them on the device of your choice.

I will be posting four chapters a week on this page!!