WS Update: Being Seen

February 7, 2022

I have been reading through Genesis and recently read the account of Sarah overhearing a conversation that within the year she would give birth to a son (v10). She ‘laughed to herself’ because the prospect seemed impossible given her age. She lies about laughing because she was afraid. I’ve read through this story many times over the years but this time I was struck by her fear. In the past I would have focused more on her theological error (v14) of not trusting God (“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”). This time I noticed how her fear kept her disconnected from the conversation going on right in front of her.  

The isolation and disconnection of the last two years combined with the convulsions going on in the public square and the pew (see this article by David Brooks) has led to massive deconstruction with so many questioning our beliefs, values, purpose, vocations, and relationships. The need for clear, biblical teaching remains strong, helping all of us who at times like Sarah lose sight of who God is and his overarching promises.  But the story is also a reminder that we not only need our intellectual questions answered but our emotional pain seen.  Reconnecting with one another and our neighbors means listening with curious ears to the emotional barricades we erect, and Sarah is a good reminder of the need for curious and compassionate listening as we seek to rebuild love our neighbors and heal our City.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

  • Matthew 11:28-30

Caleb: Spiritual Vision in a Time of Uncertainty

It was a time of spiritual compromise and loss of spiritual vision. Caleb’s generation lived through incredible tumult – wilderness and wars, cataclysmic generational change and an uncertain future. Such monumental change and uncertainty can have a way of blurring our vision of God and his purposes and shrinking our lives to narrow self-preservation and compromise. Yet in the midst of all this, Caleb stood out. He was able to see God more clearly than most and lived to see God’s promises fulfilled in his lifetime. God understands our fears and anxieties, but he gives us his power and presence and calls us higher. Join us as we explore what the life and faith of Caleb may have to teach us about living with spiritual vitality in uncertain times.

Coming Up

  • Follow Jesus Youth adapted, starting Feb 4: Classes that gives us a foundation to live on as a follower of Jesus and helps us understand the greater Christian story we are part of. Condensed into three weeks and adapted for youth.
  • Volunteer with the Youth: Serve with the Youth Group, have an amazing and fulfilling experience, and on Fridays, have some pizza.
  • Getting married?, Feb 12: Plan on attending Redeemer’s Premarital Seminar. You don’t have to be engaged to participate in the seminar. Even if you’ve just begun considering the possibility of marriage, this is a powerful way to discover whether you should continue in your relationship. This seminar is a lively day of biblical teaching on marriage, exercises that help a couple learn more about each other, and ending with a time of Q&A.
  • Sign up for Following Jesus, starting Feb 13: This class gives us a foundation to live on as a follower of Jesus and helps us understand the greater Christian story we are part of.
  • Volunteer at All Angels’ Community Meal: Serve along West Siders to set up, distribute, and clean up meals for our neighbors experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
  • Teach virtual ESL classes: Empower immigrants with The Open Door! There are three opportunities for volunteers to teach virtually on Zoom. Bilingual Spanish speakers preferred, plus a commitment to teaching once a week for one hour.
  • Don’t Walk By changes for 2022: This year, Don’t Walk By is moving to March/April and shortening to three Saturdays: March 26, April 2, and April 9. Our goal is to continue serving our homeless neighbors but also keep everyone (guests, volunteers, staff) safe. Volunteers are still needed!