Ezra: Reclaim. Return. Rebuild. Restore
This Sunday well finish our series on Ezra with a word on the need for discernment and the discipline of waiting on the Lord. Because like a pendulum, the world seems to swing from one extreme to another. We desperately need to develop real discernment. Amidst a fast-paced and distracted culture, discernment requires a willingness to wait on the Lord. For most of us, waiting on the Lord sounds passive, and ... boring. However, what if waiting is our best opportunity to bring our most authentic selves before God? What if it also opens the door for us to participate in God’s solutions to the world’s problems? What if God’s ways are worth the wait? Join us Sunday and we'll explore those questions and so much more.
How often do you feel overwhelmed by the chaos in our world? It's easy to find ourselves living in the tension between order and chaos, healing and brokenness. We want to do something to make it right, don't we? Not only in the world, but our worlds. What if the only thing that will bring order out of chaos is God's presence? What if the only thing we can do is lean in and join God where he is already working? That's what we find in Ezra 7 & 8. Join us this Sunday and to discover your own unique thirst for God's presence, a presence that brings healing into our lives and the lives of those around us.
Been to the movies lately? Or streamed one? A really good one? Ones of those stories that tug at your heartstrings? One of those stories that bring tears to your eyes? One of those stories that stirs your soul? Have you ever wondered why it impacts us that way? Why can we watch that kind of story over and over again? Get the answer this Sunday as we look at chapters 5 and 6 of Ezra. What? Ezra? Really? You have got to be kidding, right? Nope, that’s what we will discover.
This week, Katherine is preaching on a chapter that the Bible Project calls "a really strange story." And she's really excited about it! As we walk through Ezra 4, we'll see how conflict between the Israelites and their enemies stops their plans. The Temple isn't the only thing that's broken, and there's a lot more that needs to be rebuilt. Fear and anger destroy relationships too. While people are busy with fighting and division, what is God up to? Join us Sunday to find out! Come ready for healing and with hearts of pray
The story in the book of Ezra represents a significant milestone in Israel's history. After 70 years in exile -- in a fractured land of foreign gods -- the people God chose to model faith were sent home to rebuild. They began by restoring the altar. In a significant story with a significant milestone, that's a significant thing to start with! Altars are a big deal, especially in the Hebrew world. Altars are where miracles happen, where healing happens, where atonement happens ... where people meet with God. And what is true in the stories God's first people is still true today. Altars are where transformation happens and where life begins. I look forward to meeting you at the altar.
Last week, we began our journey into the book of Ezra and learned that whatever our situation, whatever the cause of our exile, we don’t have to stay in Babylon. We have an invitation to come home and reclaim our faith, rebuild our altar, and restore our relationship with Jesus. This week, we discover, as we walk with the Israelites out of yet another exile and back into Jerusalem, God’s constant, invitational grace over our lives. He knows us. He has counted on us. And he invites us into hope. I can't wait to share with you all that Ezra has to teach our church!
Topics: How God Moves
This Sunday, we'll get familiar with our friend Ezra, and we'll talk a little about what it takes to reclaim, rebuild, return, and restore. Because there's more to it than we might think! As one commentator notes, "The book of Ezra leaves you with the sense that more is needed than a rebuilt city and a rebuilt temple." To make a building into a church, what's needed is not only fire on the altar but also fire in every heart. So got ready! This summer, we will talk about how to build a personal "altar" and rekindle a spiritual fire, as we study a book that rarely gets focus but that carries a timeless message. See you Sunday!
Topics: Back to The Basics