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I Wonder Where The Anger Is

I Wonder Where The Anger Is

I wonder where the anger is?

My counselor said these words to me this past year, and yes, pastors see counselors too. The question caught me off guard for a few reasons. Not the least of which was that I don’t consider myself an angry person. I’m the fun guy, the joking guy, the adventurous guy, and, on rare occasions, the obnoxious guy. But I’m not the angry guy. 

As I was driving home from my session I remember having this internal dialogue with myself:

“Sure, I get angry sometimes. And yeah, I don’t like who I am when I get angry, but….” 

Right then it struck me. I don’t process or express anger very well precisely because I don’t think I am an angry person. That may sound noble at face value but in actuality it produces emotional ignorance and ineptitude. By denying that I get angry or that I have anger only serves to make my latent anger more potent when it does come out. The truth of the matter is that I am an angry person precisely because I am a person. 

To put it another way, my problem with anger is not that I have anger. It is tied to the things that cause anger and the things I do with my anger. That is true for all of us. Our problem with anger is not actually with anger itself. Our problem is with what evokes anger and with how we respond to our anger.

The biblical author James penned these familiar Spirit-inspired words:

James 1:19–20
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

Notice that James does not say “refrain from anger” or “turn from anger” but to be “slow to anger.” Implying that there is a time for anger. This is affirmed by the teaching of the apostle Paul in Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:26-27
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. 

Anger is like a small crack in your windshield. It is not ideal when it happens but it still needs to be recognized and responded to right away, otherwise it will get worse. When you notice the crack and react accordingly, you can actually treat it in a way that won’t require replacing the entire windshield. In many ways, the problem isn’t the crack. The problem is in our failure to respond to the crack in an appropriate and orderly manner.

We may think that when we minimize, bury, or ignore our anger we are displaying patience. But it is a counterfeit patience. It is only adding pressure to the impending outburst of anger that will come out eventually. The person who claims that they are patient by ignoring their anger is like the person who claims to be good at auto maintenance by putting a post-it note over the check engine light on their dashboard. We are only deceiving ourselves and delaying the inevitable.

In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament we find this brief but powerful teaching on anger in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 7:9b
Anger lodges in the heart of fools. 

That word “lodges” is the English translation of the Hebrew word nuwach, which means to rest in, settle down in, root in, or remain. It also has this picture of making a home in something. 

Think of anger like a tick. Although it is an unpleasant thing it can be dealt with properly when recognized on the surface right away. But it can also have lasting consequences when we ignore it and allow it to bury itself within us. And with that illustration I know that many of you stopped reading. It’s gross, but you will always remember it.

So let me offer four very quick ways that we can all grow in a more godly and sanctifying approach to our anger.

  • Feel it

Don’t shy away from feeling anger. Again, the feeling of anger is not our primary problem. Our main problem is what evokes anger and how we respond to it. But we won’t make any progress in working on our anger issues if we avoid feeling our feelings. Feel your feelings and pay attention to what these feelings do in you.

  • Name it

This may sound rather simple but say out loud that you are angry. Even if it is just to yourself. There is a power that comes to us over our emotions when we not only feel them but also when we name them. By stating clearly that you are angry it serves as a way of giving yourself control and agency over your emotions rather than forfeiting yourself to your emotions. We name emotions to tame emotions.

  • Pray it

One great way to express anger is through prayer. Turn your anger into prayer. The psalms are a great help to us in this work and Psalm 59 is a great example of this. It is a psalm of David crying out to God in response to the angering situation of being hunted down by king Saul. God is big enough to handle our anger in prayer,  and in doing so we can find ways to more effectively process our anger. But sometimes we need to turn to God in prayer to confess our anger. Anger turns sinful when it ceases to want the wrong righted or the wrongdoer restored and simply wants the wrongdoer wronged. 

  • Watch it

Pay attention to the situations, moments, environments, and even times of day that tend to evoke anger in you. Identify the things that routinely bring about anger in you and start to watch for it. So often we try to battle anger in the moment it arises. What we need is to be more preemptive in our work of mitigating unhealthy anger. Give attention to the things you give attention to. One way to do that is to ask yourself, “I wonder where the anger is.”

God’s Home

God’s Home

What does a home say?

Our family moved a few months ago. I have no doubt we were motivated by the COVID-craziness (what were we thinking?!). I also have no doubt it was God’s incredible hand of loving provision that got us there. We love our new home.

If you were to take a quick tour, what would our home say about the Miller family? You’d instantly learn that we love nature more than just about anything. You’d learn that we love family time more than nice things, and that we’re not particularly great decorators. You’d learn that we’re ok with an older, fairly simple house, in need of a few updates with a little farther commute to work and church, in order to have more trees, more quiet, more bugs, ticks, snakes, rodents, cobwebs, yard work and so much dirt. Our home would tell you a great deal about who we are and what we love.

Where does God live?

So where does God live? There are so many potential answers to that terribly cheesy question, and since He’s omnipresent (alway everywhere), you’d be hard pressed to come up with a wrong answer. But where is His home? I typically picture Him in heaven, but even there I get confused. Is it the Far Side version with clouds and harps? Or is it the heaven I grew up imagining with streets of gold, big ol’ pearly gates, and wandering angels?

Either way, I tend to picture His home somewhere up there. Far away, out of touch, and often the stuff of a bad fantasy novel. Is that God’s home?

Yet, there’s this section in the Gospel of John. It’s Jesus talking to His disciples shortly before His execution. In some ways, it’s a major downer of a speech. He tells His disciples everybody hates Him, soon they’re going to kill Him, and then they’re going to start doing the same to us. The world is going to be ugly towards Christians, He says, and you’re probably going to be killed soon. Thanks, Jesus.

But, He says, I’m going to send you a Helper. Other translations have Comforter, Encourager, Counselor, Advocate, Friend. We don’t really know how to translate it, but Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit. The very presence of God, with us.

Then Jesus says this, recorded in John 14:23: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Let that sink in. For those who follow Me, who love and obey Me, who trust in Me. We (God the Father and God the Son–the dynamic duo) will come to him (through God the Holy Spirit–that makes three–the entire Trinity) and make our home with him.

So where is God’s home? Well, where are you right now? Look around. Where are you reading these words? If you are a Christian, wherever you are right now is the answer to that question. For you are God’s home. YOU. And everywhere you go, He is right at home with you.

What does that tell you about God?

What does that tell you about God? Think about it. God’s home is with His people. Of all the places God could make His home — I mean, He is God after all! Hawaii? Alaska? Colorado? Utah? All these would be high on my list. A palace? A private island? An endless forest? Yes, please! Yet, of all the places God could make His home (look around again), He chooses to live with us.

He chooses to live in the cubicle with you at work, even when you’re overwhelmed or frustrated or demeaned. He chooses to live with you in your classroom or when you can’t find anyone to sit with at the lunch table. He chooses to live in your house, even in the places you feel completely unseen. He chooses to live uniquely in our church, when we gather together to celebrate Him. He chooses to live with you even in those places you wish He wouldn’t (a little privacy, please!), either due to your shame or sin or both.

God makes His home with you. What does that tell us about God? Well, as I think about my own life, it tells me His standards are pretty low. I mean, He will literally live anywhere. He’s not afraid to get His hands dirty. He’s not ashamed of me or my sin. It’s like He’s willing to be roommates with a slob.

Which means His mercy and grace really are that big. God is holy and worthy of my fear. Yet because of Jesus, He has taken my sin and given me His goodness, so that God can make His home with us. Where God chooses to live shows me just how big His forgiveness is.

And how dearly we are loved. It’s not just in the gospels that we see God’s home on display. We see it in Genesis 1-2, the first chapters of the Bible, when we learn that from the very beginning this was God’s heart for us. We were meant to live in the Garden with Him forever, in perfect intimacy and joy. This home was always His plan.

We also see it in Revelation 21-22, the final chapters of the Bible, when at the culmination of all things, creation is restored and God Himself comes to live with us. We get a taste of this now through God’s Spirit, but this is the ultimate reality in store for God’s people. For heaven is a New Creation, where we dwell once more with our Maker.

What does it tell you about us?

We learn a lot about God by the home He chooses. But what does this tell us about us? What do we learn about ourselves from a verse like this? There are two quick observations here that I’ve been chewing on and delighting in recently.

We were never meant to live our lives alone.

First, this reminds us that we were never meant to live our lives alone. You and I were never meant to live without God by our side, or outside of His constant presence with us. If that’s true, I should probably stop trying to live my life as if I can do it without Him. I was never meant to do anything without Him!Where are the spaces you need to invite Him into? Where are the places you need to remind yourself that He is right at home with you? When you feel alone at school or overwhelmed at work. When parenting gets the better of you or you feel stuck knowing how to encourage your friends or share your faith. When you look at our world and wonder how it could ever get better.In those moments, and it feels like there has been a lot lately, I have tried to just pause and briefly pray. God, you are here and I need your help. Please.This is also why the gathering of God’s people is so important. Sometimes I can’t sense God next to me but I can sense Him next to you. Sometimes I don’t feel like looking for Him but I see Him in you. And when we’re all together, singing to Him, hearing from Him, loving one another and celebrating His presence, it reminds us loudly of His home with us. Yes, He’s at home with you, but all the more when we gather together as His people.

We experience this at church, in our community groups or bIble studies, and through the warm smiles or encouraging words of our dear friends. So often the primary place I experience the presence of God is through His people. You and I were never meant to live our lives alone.

There is not a place you can go without Him by your side.

And the good news of the gospel is that we don’t have to; there is not a place you can go without Him by your side. If you are a follower of Jesus, you are never alone.Is there anything we humans fear more than being alone? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my alone time. I need my alone time. Many of us do. But there’s an ocean of difference between needing a little alone time and feeling utterly alone or abandoned.I know many of us right now feel pretty lonely. Our relationships and social interactions have changed so dramatically over the past 18 months. Some of us have lost loved ones. Others of us, accelerated by the stress of this past year, have experienced deep wounds in your marriage, your family, or your friendships. Maybe you’ve started at a new school or moved to a new town. Or maybe the weight of your job right now feels as if it’s crushing you.And you feel alone.I do, too.Yet, God is at home with you. Right now. And He’s at home with me.

As the psalmist delights:“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:7-10.

Prayer for God’s Presence

O God, give me today a strong and vivid sense that you are by my side. In a crowd or by myself, in business and leisure, in my sitting down and my rising, may I always be aware of your presence beside me. By your grace, O God, I will go nowhere today where you cannot come, nor seek anyone’s presence that would rob me of yours. By your grace I will let no thought enter my heart that might hinder my closeness with you, nor let any word come from my mouth that is not meant for your ear. So shall my courage be firm and my heart be at peace.

John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer, 63

So What’s This Made to Flourish Thing?

So What’s This Made to Flourish Thing?

Whether you are new to Christ Community or have been a part of our church family for a long time, you may be wondering what Made To Flourish is all about and why it is so important to our mission. Made to Flourish is a catalytic national ministry focused on narrowing the perilous Sunday to Monday gap many pastors and churches have unwittingly embraced. When a pastor or a church fails to equip followers of Christ for their Monday callings the consequences are stark.  The worship of God is greatly hindered, spiritual formation is largely stunted, gospel incarnation is painfully shallow, gospel proclamation is muted at best, and love of neighbor is greatly weakened. To be faithful to Jesus’ Kingdom Gospel whole-life-disciple-making mission, God’s new covenant people must be equipped for their everyday lives, a big part of which is their paid and unpaid work.  Of course Sunday matters, but so does Monday.

In accomplishing this God-honoring mission of whole-life discipleship, we believe the local church matters a great deal and that pastoral leadership is crucial. When pastors flourish, congregations flourish, and when congregations flourish, communities flourish. The New Testament reminds us that the local church is at the heart of God’s redemptive kingdom work in the world. The mission of Made to Flourish is to empower pastors and their churches to integrate faith, work, and economic wisdom for the flourishing of their communities. Our heartfelt hope and prayerful passion is a renewal of pastoral leadership and whole life disciple-making churches across our nation.

So why is Made To Flourish so important to our mission at Christ Community? Although Made To Flourish is a separate non-profit organization, it is inseparable from our mission. Made to Flourish is our primary national mission. From the very inception of Christ Community, now over thirty years ago, we have prayed for a spiritual awakening in our needy nation.  That national and cultural need is even greater today. Through the eyes of bold faith we have asked and continue to ask God to allow our church to play a quiet, catalytic role in renewing the church across our nation. Six years ago, in a partnership with the Kern Family Foundation located in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christ Community played a key role in birthing Made to Flourish. While the Kern Family Foundation made available the necessary financial resources, as a church family we provided much of the intellectual, cultural, and leadership capital necessary to move Made To Flourish from an entrepreneurial concept to a national network. In these first six years the Lord has given us great favor, and as a church family we are a vital part of a growing whole-life discipleship movement that is multiplying disciples who are influencing our communities, our nation, and our world for Christ.

Let me give you a brief snapshot of the present national footprint of Made to Flourish. If you have not gone to the Made To Flourish website, I would very much encourage you to do so. I would also encourage you to look at our short True and Good video that captures the heart of our Made to Flourish mission. 

TRUE and GOOD VIDEO >

By missional design and with synergy, I divide my time serving both as president of Made to Flourish and as a senior pastor of Christ Community.  Our national Made To Flourish staff team now includes 18 gifted and experienced national team members. We have a network presence in 23 cities with 41 city network pastoral leaders. Presently there are about 4000 pastors in our network.  We are training a new generation of pastors through our 24 local church-based pastoral residency programs. We hope to add six more pastoral residencies this year.

In these first six years, Made to Flourish has developed many excellent equipping resources including books, videos, and our award-winning Common Good magazine. We work closely with other like-minded organizations across our country, and we host a yearly Common Good conference which will be online and available Friday, October 1, 2021. I encourage you to sign up and take advantage of this remarkable resource.

COMMON GOOD CONFERENCE > 

Every now and then, I hear people refer to Made to Flourish as Tom’s thing, but let me remind each one of us who are part of the Christ Community family, it is not Tom’s thing, it is our thing.  Actually, Made to Flourish is really God’s thing. He brought it into existence, and it is for His glory and praise. What all God has in mind for Made To Flourish I do not know, but I do believe that for such a time as this in our culture and our nation, Made To Flourish is sovereignly positioned to have a growing, positive impact.  So please stay informed about what God is doing through Made to Flourish and hold our Made To Flourish board, staff, and mission in your prayers.  We have seen God do amazing things so far, and there are sizable challenges and great opportunities in the days, months, and years ahead.

Why We Need the Visual Arts in Our Formation

Why We Need the Visual Arts in Our Formation

What can get 50 men and women from across the metro to come together midweek for three hours after working all day? Two words: Ecclesiastes and art. 

Let me explain. 

Ecclesiastes Came to Life

On Wednesday, August 11, some 50 people came together to explore the complex themes of the book of Ecclesiastes through the lens of the art exhibit, Geheimnis, created by our Four Chapter Gallery curator, Kelly Kruse. 

During the time together, we feasted on food and artwork. Kelly spent time teaching Ecclesiastes and sharing her creative process, and then we engaged with her work through small and large group discussions. 

Equipped with a journal, each person was invited to process the artwork through guided questions corresponding to the themes of Ecclesiastes and their visual representation in Kelly’s work. The questions invited us to contemplate our mortality, compare texts within Scripture, and share our experiences of her work. The whole night was a deeply personal experience with the biblical text and ideas of Ecclesiastes illuminated in vibrant color. 

Art as a Catalyst

While this isn’t the first time the arts have been a catalyst in my faith, it highlighted afresh three ways the visual arts can be a catalyst for spiritual formation within the church.  

  1. The visual arts invite stillness

We can listen to our podcasts twice as fast. Our highway speed limits are merely suggestions often ignored. New movies are available on-demand for at-home release. Everything is fast, immediate, and hurried. This may sound cliché, but this fact seems even more clear now: we’re addicted to hurrying. It’s astounding how even a global shutdown seems to have been more like a bump in the road rather than a change in pace. This state of affairs is worrisome because we cannot become like Jesus in a hurry. 

What is helpful about good art is that it invites stillness. Artwork invites you to stop in your tracks, stay awhile, and even stare. Everything slows down. Some studies show that engaging in particular kinds of art can even decrease stress and lower blood pressure. 

We need more spaces of stillness if the Spirit is to do the slow deep work of forming us into Christlikeness. The visual arts can help. 

  1. The visual arts demand contemplation.

So often our faith formation paradigms revolve around getting information merely to regurgitate it later. While that is helpful at certain stages of development (especially catechesis for children), it is not sufficient for spiritual maturity. Otherwise, when the questions change due to the changing pressure points of culture, we will find ourselves ill-equipped to converse thoughtfully with our neighbors.

In the stillness of engaging visual art, we are able to be present. We are able to pay attention to one thing instead of being distracted by a thousand things. We can even pay attention to what we’re paying attention to. We can do more than ask “what am I noticing?” We may even lean into asking “why?” This kind of critical thinking in contemplation is a skill in itself to help in our journey of growth.

The visual arts demand contemplation. You cannot merely memorize the answer. You must marinate in the images, the colors, the textures, and shapes. It can be frustrating in its own right when all you want is to “know what it means” so you can move on. But art doesn’t want you to move on. Art invites you to experience what it means so you can move in.

This practice shapes us into the kind of people who can also engage the Scriptures better. If we merely come to the text looking for a proof text (a quick answer to a big problem), we may misrepresent what God is saying in that particular text. Hurried minds often lead to mindless hurry. Instead, Scripture invites us to study and meditate allowing the Spirit of God to illuminate God’s timeless truth in our specific lives. God doesn’t want us to move on but to move in with Him over time. 

We need more spaces that demand we contemplate rather than just consume. The visual arts demand contemplation.

  1. The visual arts extend the joy of discovery

As we sit in stillness and contemplate the work before us, over time we are extended the joy of discovery. Like an archeologist carefully digging for weeks on end, when the discovery is revealed, the joy is that much sweeter. So too with the visual arts and our study of Scripture! 

On that August night, I watched as people shared their experience of the themes of Ecclesiastes through the artwork with tears in their eyes. I heard exclamations of wonder as people sat in one particular work until it came alive to their imaginations. As Christians of various vocations have engaged with this art show throughout the summer, I have heard story after story of truly fascinating experiences that will stick with me for a lifetime. The joy of discovery after the contemplation was palpable and personal.  

Still Growing

Now, I say all this as a pastor. I was taught to love the Word of God, to teach with clarity, to communicate for change in the listener. I still believe all that is true. Simultaneously I’m growing in my experiential understanding that the arts are crucial to our discipleship today. In a world that may distrust what’s true, be disgusted by the good, often there is still a hunger for the beautiful. 

Even when not explicitly religious in themes – the visual arts are a catalyst for the kinds of rhythms necessary for our growth in Christ. When the visual arts are married to biblical ideas or even explicit texts and given intentional structure for conversation, it is a dynamic experience that shapes while it informs. 

How You Can Engage

If you want to experience this in your formation, here are three ways to engage.

1) Engage the artwork around you. It’s honestly astounding how much artwork is in our city. As you happen upon a local artist’s work, stop and stay. If you have other items on your list to do, then set your alarm for five minutes. Sit in the stillness. Contemplate and see what you discover! 

2) Join us at the Four Chapter Gallery. We would love to have you join us on any of our First Fridays, or better yet, come for one of our open gallery hours throughout the month. We often seek to create space for stillness so that you can contemplate the work outside of the activity of First Friday. 

3) Gather with others who want to do the same. If you want to go even further, curator Kelly Kruse is gathering a group of artists to meet twice a month starting in September to explore themes of art and faith. You can join the mailing list as well as communicate your desire to join in at hello@fourchapter.gallery

Our creative God is working. He’s working through His Word expressed and illuminated in the arts. Come and see for yourself.  

Nurturing Our Natures

Nurturing Our Natures

By Curt Thompson, MD
Reposted with permission from
https://curtthompsonmd.com/resources/

As I have written elsewhere,

And there is no better vocational effort that we have been called and commissioned to put forth than that which takes place day in and day out in families, churches, and schools in order to create a world of goodness and beauty. But evil has other intentions, and as such finds no more lucrative work than in those very communities where we first learn how to learn. Where our natures are first nurtured with the intention of growing us up to become effective, loving parents, students, educators, farmers, park rangers, teachers, police officers, and all the other vocational domains we occupy.

It is therefore helpful to know that shame begins to take root in our minds as early as fifteen to eighteen months of age. This means that we initially take it in and are largely affected by it more so via our nonverbal brain activity than we do via language. Hence, if we are parents, it behooves us to be aware of our own narratives and where shame is trying to tell our story such that we can prevent it from having as much of a say in the stories our children are beginning to tell. As we rear our children, knowing where our own shame attendants are hiding out is the first step to quieting the attendants that have our children in their crosshairs.

Then, there is our larger family of faith—one that, if taken seriously, is potentially an equal if not more significant formational one. If it is true, as I said above, that evil does its best work in the middle of good work being done, why would we be surprised that we experience so much shame in the church? It only makes sense that in a place where we intentionally gather in response to Jesus’ invitation for all of us who are weary and heavy laden to come to him for rest, shame would be waiting for us.

Evil does not so much knock on our door and straightforwardly ask us to commit unspeakable horror. Rather, it waits for our movement to do good things, and simply joins our parade, weaving its way into the motion and direction in which we are already moving.

In our deep desire to love God, it reminds us that we don’t love him enough or in the right way. Only in the church, where we expect no one to shame anyone in any way, does it naturally catch us especially off guard. Only in the church does the proclamation of the good news so often begin by reminding us of how bad we are in the first place—often because we so fear that without that shaming element we might not respond as we should. Only in a place where like no other we genuinely desire to do the next right thing do we worry that we won’t. But let us be clear—this should not surprise us. Furthermore, it is not our fellow parishioners who are the enemy. Evil is the enemy, but would rather use shame to convince us that the enemy is sitting next to us in the pew.

It is therefore incumbent upon us to be as ready to meet the devil in our church families as Jesus was when he went to the synagogue in the third chapter of Mark’s gospel. It is in church where Jesus confronts—simultaneously—the woundedness and shame of both a deformed man and the religious community that was presumably responsible for nurturing his life in God. When we come to our worshipping communities expecting to work against shame, it will be less able to catch us off guard, and so be made more impotent to do what it usually does.

And from church, we send our children off to school, to institutions that themselves at times become cauldrons of shame. We know this not least because of the increase in the number of anxiety disorders in children in elementary schools who worry that they may not be making straight A’s, which might preclude them from eventually getting into Yale. This, not to mention how much school administrators worry that they are not providing enough for the worried parents they serve, and so, in their attempt to do the next right thing, apply more pressure to teachers who apply pressure to students who apply pressure to their parents who call the administrators to find out why their child is so anxious, yet is still not making straight A’s. And to be clear: all these people do not wake up in the morning planning to do these things. We are all trying to do the best we can. This is how evil wields shame: silently and subtly, largely outside of our awareness.

But there is hope. Indeed, to the degree that we are committed to allow our stories to be fully known and loved, whether that is at home, at church, or in our educational systems, we proclaim the gospel. Even as we learn math. As we learn how to make our beds and say please and thank you. As we preach sermons that proclaim God’s delight in the presence of the naturally occurring limits he has infused into the creation. As we discipline each other and ourselves.

So be of good cheer. As you have babies and then take them to church and then send them to school, know that as you are known and transfer that way of being known on to those for whom you are responsible, the Holy Trinity is working as hard as they can on your behalf, bringing you further up and further into the age that is here and is to come.

And if that’s not nurturing our natures, I don’t know what is.

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Dr. Curt Thompson will be speaking at Christ Community on October 14, 2021. Be sure to save the date for this upcoming event.

The (Forgotten) Story of the Holy Spirit

The (Forgotten) Story of the Holy Spirit

As a church family we just wrapped up our summer teaching series Forgotten Family highlighting some lesser known characters in the biblical story. We studied men and women like Uzziah and Deborah, Lydia and Philemon. 

There is another character in the biblical story that is often overlooked. Someone who is mentioned on the very first page and the very last page of the Bible who is often overlooked or misunderstood. It is the Holy Spirit! There is even a book about the Holy Spirit titled The Forgotten God

One of the most central, defining truths of Christianity is the belief in a Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One God. Three Persons. But Christians often functionally binitarian — speaking, teaching, and living primarily as if God were only Father and Son. Or we operate with a different Trinity; the Father, Son, and Holy Scriptures.  

In our teaching series The Story of the Holy Spirit we want to get to know the Spirit better. We want to follow His story through the pages of Scripture. We want to discover His work in creation, in giving new life, in giving gifts and empowering us for works for service and love on Sunday and Monday.  

The only Christian life is a life that has been made new by the Holy Spirit, baptized by the Holy Spirit, gifted by the Holy Spirit, and filled by the Holy Spirit. If you have placed your faith and hope in Jesus, all of these things are true of you! 

It is a bit like doing genealogical research and discovering that you are descended from royalty. That was always true of you even before you knew it or understood it. But now that you know it, it can change everything about how you view yourself and your story. 

Together we want to know the Spirit more deeply and learn to live more fully in the life the Spirit gives. The Spirit’s story bookends the biblical story. But where is He in our story? Join us as we follow the Spirit’s story through the Bible and into our lives.