Foundations of Faith, Life, and Love
Living in Jackson, we all know how important it is to build a firm foundation under your home. When the ground under your feet shifts and changes, the foundation is the thing that keeps the whole place standing.
The same is true in our living. Every life needs a firm foundation. In our faith lives, we need the foundation of belief and hope. In our daily lives, we need the foundation of an ethic and worldview that guides our words and actions. In our loving lives, we need the foundation of covenant and promise.
During the first weeks of fall, we will explore in worship the theme of foundation and look to the ancient stories of the faith for insights on God’s foundation in our lives. Each of us is part of the story of God’s faithful work in the world. With each part of the story, we add another building block to creating lives of faith, hope, grace, generosity, and love.
Sept. 8, 2019
Genesis 2:4b-25 The Garden of Eden
Despite humanity’s disobedience and expulsion from the Garden of Eden, God does not abandon us. Notice that in the story the covenant changes but it does not disappear. From the very beginning, God’s posture toward humanity is and always has been one of covenant and love.
Sept. 15, 2019
Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7 Isaac Born to Sarah
God makes a promise to Abraham and Sarah that is beyond belief. At her advanced age, Sarah would become a mother for the first time. God promises to make their family the beginning of a generations long blessing and God is as good as God’s word. Promise is at the heart of God’s relationship with us. Not necessarily promises of stuff or the promise to give us our every wish. Rather God promises to be our God and invites us to be God’s people; a people of blessing. And God is as good as God’s word.
Sept. 22, 2019
Genesis 32:9-13, 22-30 Jacob Wrestles with God
No life of faith is without its difficult moments. Jacob’s story is, in many ways, a reflection of many of our own lives. We wrestle with God. The amazing thing about God is that even in those moments when we fight against God, God does not let us go. God does not forsake us. And God does not withdraw God’s foundational love and grace.
Sept. 29, 2019
Exodus 1:8-2:10; 3:1-15 Moses and the Name of God
Moses is met by the voice of God and for the first time we learn God’s name. YHWH or “I am.” God’s very name is being itself. Beneath everything that we are and everything that is, there is the creator God.
Oct. 5, 2019
Deuteronomy 5:1-21; 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel!
Known as the Shema, the prayer of Deuteronomy 6:4 is a central prayer of Judaism but it has largely been lost in Christian worship. Yet those words are ones that affirm so much about what is foundational in our faith. God is not an impersonal deity unconcerned with our lives. God is our God. God is not one of many competing Gods using us as pawns in some cosmic game among titans. God is one, all, everything.
Oct. 12, 2019
Ruth 1:1-17 The Story of Ruth
The witness of Ruth’s life is the witness of loving devotion. Ruth demonstrates in her life with Naomi the kind of love God shows for us and we are called to show for God. Just as Ruth is steadfast in her devotion and will not abandon Naomi although convention would let her, God does not abandon us even when our sinfulness merits it.