Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mission & Game Night

We had a blast Sunday night stuffing the Easter eggs for the children's Easter egg hunt (which will take place Easter Sunday morning) and playing our favorite game, gorgon!  Check it out:

Don't forget this Sunday, April 1st, we will NOT have our regular FUSION Gathering meeting at 6pm.  Instead we will be going to the movies to see Mirror Mirror.  I will let you know what time as soon as Sunchase posts the movie times.  Expect it to be somewhere around 4pm, though!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Messiah as Lion and Lamb

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

This is the question we started out with on Sunday night before playing a game of speed charades (you only have 30 seconds to get your team to guess correctly) of all animal clues.

In this series we've talked about Jesus as high priest, king, servant, Son of God, Lord, savior, life, redeemer and now we finish the series talking about Jesus as lion and lamb!  To focus on this understanding of Jesus, we looked at Revelation.  Revelation often gets a bad reputation in a lot of Christian writing and understanding.  I bet I can count on one hand the number of you who read this who have heard a sermon from Revelation.  When we look further though, Revelation is a letter written to seven Christian communities who were under severe persecution.  The reason so many people shy away from Revelation is that it uses a lot of imagery-based writing where symbols and visuals are used to represent other things.  Since it is not literal, the writings in Revelation often confuse people and just seem weird and even scary at times.  Ultimately, though, one of the biggest themes of Revelation is worship, not "the end times".

For our lesson on Sunday night, we looked specifically at Revelation 5:1-8 where Jesus is named both the lion and the lamb.  When we think of a lion, we think of Jesus as things like king, courageous, a leader, brave, powerful and mighty.  When we think of a lamb, we think of Jesus as being meek, peaceful, and a creature killed in sacrifice for sins.  So while lions and lambs are incredibly different, both pinpoint important characteristics of who Jesus is!

Since we are in the season of Lent, we looked at the clip from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" where Aslan is killed and resurrected.  We talked about the parallels of this movie to the Gospel story of Jesus' death and resurrection.  It's amazing the similarities that are present between the two stories, and what better way to understand Jesus as lion than to have him portrayed as an actual lion in this movie!

We took a look at a few photomosaics where artists have created one big picture from lots of smaller ones.  This is a good example of what this series has been like for us.  We looked at lots of different names, understandings, and characteristics of Jesus that together created the bigger picture of who Jesus is.  What a great series to explore, especially during Lent as we prepare our hearts for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Next week we will have a mission and games night!!  So you won't want to miss it, and bring a friend along with you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Messiah as Redeemer

What's your favorite thing to wear?  We began Sunday night with this question as our chalkboard reflection.  Then we designed our own t-shirts that expressed something about ourselves.  One of the ways Scripture describes how we should live our lives when we know Jesus as redeemer is by describing things we should "put on" or "wear".  We took a look at various Scripture passages: Romans 3:23-26, 2 Corinthians 5:16-18, Ephesians 4:22-24 and Colossians 3:5-14.  We are sinful beings, but thankfully God sent God's son, Jesus, to redeem our lives through his death on the cross.  We are forgiven and reconciled and all that is required of us is to have faith.  However, when we have true faith, we are called to live like Jesus asks us to live: "taking off" our old ways of living and "putting on" things like kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love.  We took time to make a bookmark with the things we need to work on (things we need to take off and/or put on in our lives).  What might your bookmark say?  Comment on this post with your responses.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Messiah as Life

This week we talked about Jesus as Life!

We began with a little game.  In three pitchers I had filled one with tap water, one with bottled water and one with filtered water.  The youth each took a taste of each pitcher, tried to figure out which was which, and voted on the one they liked best.  Because of Farmville's not so great tasting tap water, everyone was able to pin point that pitcher.  The bottled water ended up winning, with the filtered coming in second.  From there we took a look at Scripture when Jesus was described as a different kind of water: living water.  Together we read John 4:4-15, the story of the woman at the well, and talked about what it meant for Jesus to offer the woman living water.  Through this living water, Jesus was offering eternal life!

We then took a look at John 6:1-15, 25-40 where Jesus is described as the bread of life!  Just as before, this is bread that is not simply tangible food, but spiritual food that offers eternal life.  All Jesus asks is that we have faith and accept the grace he gives us.  Using normal everyday things like water and bread makes it easier for us to understand just as it was easier for Jesus' disciples and followers to understand.

To live into our calling to faith and therefore living into that faith, we baked bread for our church's bread ministry...remembering that Jesus is the bread of life!  While it baked we spent time looking at other passages in John where Jesus is described as life.  Then we were challenged to think this week about an example we see in our own lives of how Jesus is life to us (bread, water, light, etc.).  How do you see and experience Jesus as life?  Comment on this post with your responses.