Imagine waking up tomorrow morning, getting out of bed, and feeling different. Imagine that as you greeted the day you did so with confidence and assurance, free to be completely yourself. Imagine that you walked through each day feeling that you had nothing to hide, nothing to lose, and nothing to prove. How would that feel? Do you feel like that now?
That feeling is exactly what Jesus invites us into when he invites us to live in the Kingdom of God. He invites us to recognize how God made us, how God loves us, and how God is already at work in our lives. He invites us to turn from whatever path we have wandered down and to return to the lives that God made us to live. This is all possible in and through him, and learning to say “yes” to this invitation is learning to live in the good news of God’s kingdom.
Last week, we concluded The Gathering message with a homework assignment. I asked that you spend this week reflecting on the present or possible changes in your life that make you uncomfortable. I asked you to think about a point of difficulty that you are facing and to dig deep into what about that change is so scary. What about losing a job frightens you? What about your child’s troubles at school are keeping you up at night? What about your friend being ill has you feeling so upset? What’s the “thing behind the thing” here? I asked that you reflect on that question and bring your answer to The Gathering on Sunday so we can confront it with the good news of God’s kingdom.
This week’s topic, “What to do when you’re worried sick,” will explore the process of digging into the “bad news” that we’re telling ourselves. This message will particularly address those of us (me included) who tend to have strong, physical reactions to times of stress or worry. We will look at how those anxieties our fueled by our temptation to find security, belonging, or significance in something other than God, and how we can change our hearts and lives to believe in the Kingdom of God Jesus invites us to join. Because it’s only when we find our belonging, security, and significance in God that we live each day as people with nothing to hide, nothing to lose, and nothing to prove.
God bless y’all,
Rev. Lance Marshall
Senior Associate Pastor