Hi, and thanks for checking out our web page! Enjoy browsing around. Got a minute? I'd love to share a thought about church.
It’s easy to think about the church as a pasture. After all, “He makes me lie down in green pastures,” is a beloved image from the 23rd Psalm. But there is a danger in “dwelling” on this image. It tempts us to think in terms of safety within, and danger without. It tempts us to focus our energy on the edge, the fence, the boundary, to get the sheep in and keep the wolves out.
But Jesus also said the church is like a well! “I will give you the water of life” he said. This image reminds us that the church is not called to be a fenced-in, fearful folk, but stewards of a community resource, like a well in the center of a village. Some people live nearby and use the well daily. Others are passing through, or seeking help, and use the well just once. And there are neighbors near and far, sometimes moving closer, sometimes farther away, but all related to that center point, the well of God’s grace that we know in Jesus Christ.
In a world that is often chaotic, that tempts the church to retreat to the safety of its pasture (which sort of sounds like “past” doesn’t it?), the people of Grace Church are committed to remembering that God has dug a well here, a well of living water for everyone who needs it. Grace abounds, refreshing, and giving new life. Come to the well, and drink!
9:00 a.m. in the Auditorium- Advent Study: Isaiah
Isaiah 40:7 And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
This Advent, we will be reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah during Christian Formation time on Sundays. Meeting in the Library at 9am, we will read, react, study, and pray over Isaiah’s message. I will lead us through a look at each passage in four ways:
¨ Devotional: How do these verses affect our relationship with God and one another? What do they call us to do in reaction? How do they make us feel? How do they spur us to pray?
¨ Historical: We will seek to understand as far as possible, the world of Isaiah and the context in which this message was first offered.
¨ Literary: The prophet’s original message is written down. Who are the characters? What is the plot and the theme? How does this relate to our own experience of life, our own stories?
¨ Lutheran: Are there Lutheran principles that guide our reading of Isaiah’s message?
Since the election, many are reacting to the very negative tone of the campaign, and the narrative (is it really true?) that we live in a nation that is more deeply divided than ever. Well let’s get out of our “filter bubbles” - places where we only hear our point of view, where conversations are about “us and them,” and take a chance during Advent to listen. “Us and Them” can only become “We” when we converse with one another and the God we know through Jesus - and one of his favorites - Isaiah! Hope to see you there. Pastor Verkouw