Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Messiah as Savior

After getting snowed out last Sunday, we spent this Sunday talking about Jesus as Savior.  After our chalkboard reflection of drawing pictures of people or things that save (Jesus, superman, tupperware containers, hospitals, etc.), we played a little game.  I called out a strange word and everyone had to write down their guess at its definition.  Then I read all the definitions (including the correct answer) and everyone took a guess at which one was correct.  Did you know that erinaceous means from the hedgehog family?  Or that a galactophagist is someone who drinks a lot of milk?  Or that to quackle means to choke or suffocate?

Just like these are weird words that we don't really know the meaning to, when we talk about the word SAVIOR, we hear it a lot but we aren't always sure what it actually means.  Together we read Luke 2:8-20.  Even before Jesus taught the crowds, performed miracles, or died on the cross, he was called the savior.  From the time of Jesus' birth, offering salvation to humanity was at the core of Jesus' mission here on earth.  We broke into middle and high school small groups to look at a couple other places in Scripture where we understand Jesus more as a Savior.

The high schoolers looked at Luke 2:21-35 where Mary and Joseph bring baby Jesus to the temple and Simeon recognizes who Jesus is...not just another baby, but the savior Simeon had been waiting to see!  And Simeon says that Jesus would be the savior not just of the Jews but of all people!  The middle schoolers looked at Luke 19:1-10 of the story of Zacchaeus.  We see that Jesus came to seek out and save the "lost" like Zaccheaus who was a social outcast because of his job and the way he was cheating people out of money.  But Jesus' salvation is for all, especially sinners because we are all sinners.  We can thank God for that!

We talked a little about the season of Lent and how we can prepare for this Jesus who is our Savior through his death and resurrection.  We each thought of things we will commit to giving up or taking on this Lenten season in order to help build our relationship with God.  What Lenten practices are you committing to this year?  Comment on this post with your responses.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Messiah as Lord

Jesus as high priest, king, servant, son of God and now.....


But what does that really mean?
We started out our night by talking about the things we are loyal to.  Using stickers, we placed anywhere from 0-3 stickers on signs around the room of things or people we might be loyal to: your school, the country, the President, your family, your state, your friends, your parents, your favorite sports team, and your extracurricular group.  We found that we are most loyal to our friends, family and parents...but with some interesting things not too far behind like our favorite sports team.  We decided that being loyal to something or someone means we have faith in them and that we would make sacrifices for them.

So what does loyalty have to do with Jesus as Lord?  Well if we look at the Middle Ages in Europe, we can find the feudal political system that was in place.  In that system a Lord owned a large area of land along with everything in that land.  Knights were warriors who pledged their loyalty or faithfulness to the Lord in exchange for some property and freedom.  This loyalty meant that the knight would go to battle at any time the Lord called him and would risk his life to defend the Lord's property and kingdom.

So if we think about this system in light of Jesus being called Lord, we get a better understanding of who Jesus is.  Jesus as Lord asks us to be faithful and loyal to him, even to the point of giving up our own life!  Jesus is called Lord throughout Scripture, but especially in the gospel of Matthew.  People called Jesus Lord knowing that Jesus could heal, that Jesus had power, that Jesus had a higher authority than even the centurions because that authority comes from God!  Jesus calls us to have a genuine faith that understand that Jesus is not only Lord, but servant, high priest, king, son of God, and much more!

We took time to read Matthew 7:21-27 which is Jesus' parable about a house built on sand and a house built on a solid foundation.  If we have genuine faith that has a solid foundation on Jesus Christ, hard times and struggles that come up in life will not sweep away our faith!  To help us understand this even better, we went outside to stand on a solid foundation: cement.  We grabbed some chalk and wrote down what it means to have faith in Jesus based on this parable.  Before going back inside we each grabbed a small rock which we wrote "LORD" on to remind us that Jesus is Lord and our solid foundation.  What does it mean to you to have faith in Jesus?  Comment on this post with your responses.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday

This past Sunday we had two big events for the youth.

The first was our youth took up the Souper Bowl of Caring offering at the end of each worship service Sunday morning.  They collected almost $700 for Stop Hunger Now! and over 70 canned and boxed food items for FACES!  Way to go!

Then Sunday night we went to the Watson's house for a super bowl party!  Everyone had a blast and had a great time of food and fellowship.

Don't forget the youth will be ushering this Sunday.  Let me know if you are available to usher at the 11am service!  See you Sunday night at 6pm as we continue our "Pursue" series.