In a passage directed towards people in exile, we find ourselves in exile. We hear the call of God to build, to plant, to seek the peace and prosperity of whatever place we find ourselves in. We find our home has nothing to do with an address.
Sometimes it feels like we are being trapped....by God, by others. We feel like if we love someone else, we will lose who we are. Jesus reveals to us the truth about traps and a way to meaningful life loving God and loving people.
Hopesprings exists to love God, love people, and to serve the city. This week we explore what it means for us to love God with our heart, soul, and mind.
Jesus shows up. Resurrected. His followers wrestle with the happy news, and we see through their believing the life of Jesus. We are able to experience the resurrection here, now, and always!
We reflect on all of the identities we cling to, the self we try to cobble together, and the path towards actually discovering who we are. Jesus bids us come and die, if we are going to live.
We see a strange passage connect with the most well-known bible verse in the world, revealing that often the very thing we think will destroy us becomes the vehicle for our salvation.
We explore tough words from the prophets about how our words are not enough. Lent begins with confession. We take time to take stock.
With the last words and acts of Jacob and Joseph, we see once again the crisis of the dreams of God for his people. They give the gift of a story, a dream of home for people in search of peace. We are confronted with God's dream for us.
Joseph wrestles with the lures of a seductive empire. Jacob seeks to remind the family where they come from. This conflict plays out before us, as we wrestle with our own place, looking for our own home with God and others.
Somehow, someway, God is able to wring out of evil, mistakes, missed chances, bitterness, bad decisions, and other awful things one of the most beautiful stories in the Scriptures. We pause to consider what He might be wringing out of our own stories. We encounter a dream come true in impossible ways, an ending we could not have imagined.
With hints, winks, nods, and spoilers we begin to see the end of our sojourn through Joseph's dreams take shape. While no one in the story can see grace and mercy taking shape right in front of them. Implications ensue.
In an incredible tale that ends up just a prelude, we see God move and empire and save the world by reaching into the subconscious of Pharaoh. Joseph weathers suffering and sees the dream for his life begin to come true. We seek God's dream for our own lives.
In infinity-level chess, things are not always what they seem. The dream turns to a nightmare, but hope is found in even the darkest of places.
Our story takes a twist, and we get to see an upside-down tale of heroine-ism from someone we would least expect. (Haven't we learned by now?)
We begin the story of Joseph, considering a revolutionary dream in a familial nightmare. We encounter a dream for our own place in the story.
In a cosmic description of the coming of Jesus, we experience truth and grace in ways both macro and micro. We see everything is connected to the coming of Christ, and we can be reconnected to God through him.
Sometimes the medium is the message. In the case of the Messiah, how Jesus comes here is almost as telling as his arrival. We see that if we are to believe this story, we must believe an unwed pregnant 14 year old girl, finding we must side with the poor and the powerless.
We take a deep look at Herod, a deranged king who had everything and was threatened by a baby. We look into our hearts, and how Jesus threatens our own kingdoms. This, we find, is a gift.
In reflecting on the expectations people had of the hero God promised, we reflect on our own, and the world Jesus invades. We begin preparing for the coming of Christ.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty? We reflect on an old question and tired answers, seeing something new emerge in our understanding of gratitude.