Summer 2020 Takeaways


Growing in our faith during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenge.  With so many supports, activities, freedoms etc. having been temporarily taken away, many of us have felt distanced from God and each other.  Isolation is tough and over time it can eat away at our faith.  During worship this summer we have been reminded over and over again that although we feel alone, God does not abandon us.  Jesus was never alone, even when he was being tempted in the wilderness.  Learning to sense how God is always present in our lives – despite the feelings of isolation that can overwhelm us – has been a big part of what we have learned this summer.  Here are some more of our takeaways (remember takeaways are the Biblical truths we discover in worship that we can hook our faith on, take home with us, and put into practice throughout the week).

  1. God is always present in our lives despite feelings of isolation
  2. The Church has a racism problem when it fails to see how the structures, organizations, rules, and laws we participate in benefit one ethnic group over the other.
  3. People filled with the Holy Spirit work to tear down systems of racism and abuse.
  4. All people are created in God’s image and thus have equal value
  5. When people in my community are devalued or cheapened by injustice and inequality, my spirituality is cheapened or broken as well.
  6. When Jesus encountered crowds of hungry, sick, helpless, even unruly and demanding crowds… He had compassion on them.
  7. The harvest is ready, the workers are few. Often the people that cause the biggest problems with spreading the Gospel are the religious ones among us.
  8. Sin reflects both our status before God (which God has cleansed) and a life eating disease.
  9. Embrace the new life Jesus won for you. Throw off the old way of thinking and living.
  10. People are to identify you with Jesus and Jesus with you.
  11. Few people will ever be willing to receive Jesus’ presence into their lives if they are not willing to receive those who represent that same Jesus.
  12. Do our lives reflect Jesus enough so that sinners feel welcome there?
  13. When our connection with Jesus is strengthened, we begin to be our real selves. We discover true purpose, experiences, and meaning to our lives.
  14. The more we allow Jesus to lead our lives, the more we receive mercy, strength, and help.
  15. God sows God’s seeds of love everywhere. God does this because people are worth it.
  16. What soil people are is determined as much by uncontrollable circumstances as by the choices they make.
  17. The world, our society, and our intuitions will fail us. So we place our hope in God, the one who relentlessly pursues us.
  18. God allows evil people to exist. We cannot always distinguish who is evil and who is not.
  19. God is willing to endure the presence of evil out of love – so that people can be saved.
  20. Great love is needed in order to endure evil.
  21. You don’t go into a room and turn off the dark—instead you turn on the light.
  22. The Kingdom of God is filled with the unexpected.
  23. The Kingdom of God is a place where lives are changed because of the influence of Jesus.
  24. Jesus embodies God’s constant call to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and give hope to the desperate.
  25. When Jesus is not with us, Jesus is still watching over us!
  26. Sometimes Jesus sends us out into a storm in order for us to learn difficult, but life changing lessons.
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