Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Great Romance

Hello, and happy Thursday!  Summer school is OFFICIALLY over, so I'm busy enjoying my first true day of summer break :)  My mom got in to town last night, so we'll probably head to the beach for the day before enjoying a fun dinner out (I always save the local restaurants for when guests are in town so they can experience Daytona cuisine)!

For today's post, I wanted to recap the sermon series from my church during the month of June.  I love how this church does series throughout the month, which I think just ties everything together so nicely!  As you may remember, I was also in a play at church each Sunday during the month of June, conveniently titled The Great Romance (written by the youth director Tony Sorrell), just like the sermon series!  Each act tied in to the topic of the sermon for the week and flowed along quite nicely.
I decided to share the videos of the play with y'all (you don't have to watch them if you don't want!), as well as a brief description of the sermons from each week.  I was really excited to be a part of what God was doing through this sermon series at church, even though I'll never know the impact it had.  I hope you enjoy it and learn a little something about God, too!

Week 1: First Date
Scripture Verse: John 1:45-49
This week, the pastor talked about how first dates often start out with fear and presumptions.  In the same way, our guilt about our imperfections and sins leads to fear for many people meeting Jesus for the first time, just like in the Scriptures.  Jesus is after the heart of the person, which means we don't have to be fearful or guilty when we meet Him!  The pastor also challenged Christians to live in Jesus so that others will really meet Jesus, not just fear him or make presumptions about him.

Week 2: Professional of Love
Scripture Verse: 1 John 4:7-12
The pastor talked about how God professed His love for us in Jesus.  God sending Jesus changed everything--the sinners of the world matter.  There are so many times in the Gospels that Jesus associates with "the least and the lowest", going against the customs of those days.  That shows that God loves us all, no matter who we are or what we've done!  The pastor also referenced the passage Hebrews 10:24-25 that says we should "spur one another on toward love and good deeds."  The word "spur" in the original Greek translates to "irritate" or "provoke."  I thought that was an interesting way to think about it--sometimes, we as Christians need to irritate or provoke others to love each other and to good works.  Jesus loved unconditionally while he was on Earth, so we should strive to love like he does.  What a wonderful world that would be!

Week 3: Engagement
Scripture Verse: Matthew 4:18-22
This week, our associate pastor talked about how engagement involves taking a risk, since you don't know how exactly a proposal will turn out.  He told the story about his own proposal to his wife and how his plan wasn't exactly working out.  He also talked about how engagement involves a new point of view--a "we" mentality instead of "me."  When we say "yes" to God, we open ourselves to a whole new world.  Engaging with God means that we leave our old ways behind and take on His ways and look at the world through His eyes.  The pastor even referenced the song "A Whole New World" from Aladdin--that's what an engagement with God is like!

Week 4: Marriage
Scripture Verse: Philippians 2:1-5
(I apparently found this sermon really interesting because I took A LOT of notes on it!)  There were two themes to this sermon.  The first was that marriage is a covenant-a formal, solemn, binding agreement.  It's not a contract, where if one person doesn't hold up their end then the contract is over.  Our covenant relationship with God requires monogamy, giving our all to Him and putting Him first.  This shouldn't be serial monogamy-jumping in, then jumping out, then jumping back in-like we do quite often.  The second theme was being a witness.  At a wedding, the couple is a witness to God's love.  Not only are they showing their own love, but they are a witness to God's love covenant with us.  Jesus has already said "til death do us part AND BEYOND" by dying on the cross for us.  So, our response to the covenant relationship with God is to be a witness to his love.

Week 5: Renewal of Vows
Scripture Verse: Psalm 51:1-12
(no, that is not my husband, and no I did not really kiss him on the cheek--all acting :))
This week, we talked about needing a faith renewal.  What better way to do that than remembering the vows we made at our baptism?  Our pastor talked about a quote he read about "living wet", living the freshness of the moment of our baptism and those vows.  "Living wet" is living in relationship with Christ(not just visiting him), professing our faith and our love for God, being in an engagement with God (living in and engaging in His kingdom), and being bound to our Creator in love so people will see and know what God's love is.  Perfect way to tie together the whole sermon series!

I hope you enjoyed reading about the sermon series and watching the play (if you did).  I really enjoyed being a part of the worship service in this way, and as I said before, I really do pray that it spoke to people in a different way than just a sermon.  If you would like to listen to the sermons yourself (I really think the pastor at my church is wonderful!), you can download the podcasts from iTunes.  If you'd like to learn more about my church and the pastors there, check out the website!

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