Month: December 2019

Message Slides 12.22.2019

ADVENT 2019 | Wk 4: “Love”

Pastor Mike Overstreet | 12.22.2019

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

ADVENT2019

 

2:

King Herod in History

  • King Herod’s father came to prominence by collaborating with the Romans.
  • King Herod becomes the King of the Jews by helping Rome conquer his own people
  • He was a shrewd, masterclass manipulator
    • Used Roman connections to maintain power & undermine rivals
    • Used public works & rebuilding the Temple to manipulate his own people.
  • He was incredibly paranoid & brutal
    • Violently crushed all perceived threats – including members of his own family.
    • Caesar Augustus: “I would rather be Herod’s pig than his son.”

 

3:

Matthew 2:7-8 (NIV)

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

 

4: 

Matthew 2:12-13 (NIV)

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

 

5:

Matthew 2:16 (NIV) 

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.

 

6:

The Challenge of King Herod’s Story

  1. We must be willing to find ourselves in King Herod – surrendering our pursuit of control, status & power in light of God’s Kingdom. 
  2. We must find ourselves in God’s invitation to Herod as well – an invitation into healing, newness, & love; not self-loathing & shame.  
  3. We must grow into people who can be the Good News of Love to the villains of our world.

 

7:

Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

12.22.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.22.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 4: “Love”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is something that you are embarrassed to tell people you love to do? 

 

The Dig

Read Matthew 5:43-48.

First, reflect on how shocking this teaching would be for Jesus’ audience. For Americans, the weight of this statement is almost impossible to relate to. At this time, the Jewish people were conquered & living under oppressive Roman rule, which was incredibly brutal & destructive. Romans are who would come to mind when they heard the word “enemy.” 

How does this impact how you understand this teaching by Jesus? Does it change the weight of it for you? 

Next, walk through the passage piece-by-piece. 

How do you believe one can “love their enemy”? 

How might this make us “children of God” like Jesus says?

Next, reflect on the “evidence” Jesus cites for God’s love for the enemy in verse 45. The rising of the sun (another day of life) & rain for crops were both understood as symbols of God’s blessing for a person in Jesus’ time. 

How does God’s choice to bless the righteous & the unrighteous alike change how we understand His love? Why does Jesus point to this as a sign of how we (as children of God) are called to love? 

How does this change how you define love? What does it look like to love by seeking the blessing of those we would consider enemies? 

Next, consider Jesus’ questions. He cites two actions that he holds up as the opposite of how God loves/blesses:

  1. Loving only those that love you; and
  2. Greeting only those like you.

How do these two examples highlight a form of love that Jesus sees as the opposite of how God loves? 

How well do you do at loving/blessing those in opposition to you & who are radically different than you (ethnically, religiously, politically, socially, etc.)? 

Close with Jesus’ final challenge: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Greek word translated as “perfect” is teleios – which means maturing to completion

What does it mean to “mature” in your ability to love completely or perfectly like God does? 

From your conversation, where do you need to seek maturation & growth in your love of others? Where do you need to change how you understand love to be someone who can “love their enemies” like God does?

What is one thing you can do to change your heart posture towards an “enemy” this week? 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand love. How might your definition of love change in light of Jesus? What does he challenge about your current definition of love? What does he affirm about it? 

Journal about how this advent understanding of love might change how you understand love & seek to build it in your world. 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Matthew by Stanley Hauerwas

Jesus and the Victory of God by NT Wright

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 24: Join us for Christmas Eve! We will have gatherings at 3:00 & 5:00PM to celebrate the arrival of Jesus!

* Please see mye3.org for details.

Message Slides 12.15.2019

ADVENT 2019 | Wk 3: “Joy”

Michael Hanna | 12.15.2019

Message recordings available at: https://vimeo.com/element3

 

1:

ADVENT2019

 

2:

Linus (Charlie Brown Christmas) Video:

 

3:

1 Samuel 16:10-12

Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

 

4:

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

12.15.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.15.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 3: “Joy”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What comes to mind when you think of laughing really hard? Who is there? What was the situation? 

The Dig

Begin by defining the word joy as you understand it. What does it mean to be joyful? What does it mean to lack joy in a situation? 

Next, read James 1:2-4. 

Notice that in James understands joy as something that can be found & even grown in the midst of trials & sufferings. This means that, for James, joy is an internal state of being that isn’t tied to our circumstances.

How do you react to the idea that joy is something that isn’t tied to having positive circumstances or getting what you want in a situation? Does your definition of joy allow for that to be true? 

In light of this, take time to re-define the word joy. What would you adjust in your definition? How would you alter how you understand joy? 

Next, reflect on the sermon from this week. In the Gospel of Luke, it is poor shepherds that come to find Jesus after his birth & who are told that they are experiencing a great joy

What does it say about Jesus (who he is, what he came to do, etc.) that he arrives to people in their situation first? 

How might this be a joyful moment for the shepherds? 

Reflect on the fact that the shepherds’ circumstances don’t change after this encounter with Jesus. They arrive as shepherds & leave as shepherds. And yet, they are still said to have found joy in the encountering of Jesus. 

How is God’s arrival in Jesus something that brings joy to these people (poor, low social status, etc.)? 

Close by, once again, reflecting on how you define & understand joy in your life. 

What gives you joy? What takes away your joy? What does this show you about how you understand joy? How does this advent understanding of joy impact how you think about both things? 

Where do you need to grow in your capacity to be joyful? What would it look like to take a step forward in this area?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand joy. How might your definition of joy change in light of Jesus? What does he challenge about your current definition of joy? What does he affirm about it? 

Journal about how this advent understanding of joy might change how you understand joy & seek to find it in your world. 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Christ Plays in 10,000 Ways by Eugene Peterson

Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 22: Join us for the next week of our series ADVENT: Where Good News is Actually Good, where we will explore the theme of Love in the story of Christ’s arrival!
* Please see mye3.org for details.

12.08.2019

GOING DEEPER

12.08.2019 | ADVENT 2019 | Wk 2: “Peace”

Join the community and go deeper with this Bible study.

 

Breaking Ground

What is something that brings you peace when you are feeling anxious or worried? What is something that takes away your feeling of peace?

 

The Dig

Begin by defining the word peace as you understand it. What does peace mean? What doesn’t it mean? 

Read Matthew 2:1-12.

As discussed in the sermon this week, this story is full of the unexpected when it comes to who would be present at Jesus’ birth. The Magi are the definition of being outsiders when it comes to the Jewish world. 

Has there ever been a time in your life when you were an outsider in something (church, school, social group, etc.)? How did that impact you? 

Why do you think Matthew puts the Magi here as the first people to recognize Jesus as King & worship him in his Gospel? What might this teach us about who God is?

Why do you think the outsiders see who Jesus is before the insiders in this story (Israel’s King, the Teachers of the Law)? In other words, what is it about being an outsider that might lead them to seek out & find Jesus first & vice versa for being an insider? 

Many of the Old Testament prophecies predicted that God’s Messiah would, in some way, bring the Nations (the pagan, non-Jewish peoples of the world) into God’s Kingdom. 

How does this impact how you understand what is going on in this story? 

What does this say about who Jesus is & what he came to do

Finally, close by taking time to reflect on what these two things have to do with the peace that Jesus brings. 

How does including the outsiders create peace in the Christian life? How does drawing in those we’d least expect impact how we live a life of peace?

Who in your life would you consider an outsider (i.e., who or what kind of people would you least expect to be at the arrival of Jesus)? Why wouldn’t you expect them to be there? 

How does this story change how God sees these people & how you should see them? 

What might it look like to welcome them into what God is doing in your life?

 

Getting Out of the Hole

Take time each week during this Advent season to reflect on how God’s arrival lights up each of the Advent themes (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love). 

This week, reflect on how God’s arrival in human form redefines how we understand peace. How might your definition of peace change in light of Jesus? What does he challenge about your current definition of peace? What does he affirm about it? 

Journal about how this story about peace might change how you understand peace & seek to make it in the world. 

Share your experience with the group next week! 

Additional Resources*

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas (Advent Devotional) 

Toughest People to Love by Chuck DeGroat

The Conflict Resolution Toolbox by Gary Furlong

 

Coming Up This Week:* 

Sunday, December 15: Join us for the next week of our series ADVENT: Where Good News is Actually Good, where we will explore the theme of Joy in the story of Christ’s coming!
* Please see mye3.org for details.