September 10 – October 29
Each week, we are shaped by our culture in ways that do not reflect the Kingdom of God. Without necessarily thinking about it, we learn to see things in some particular ways. Our financial decisions are shaped by what is fashionable and appropriate for our economic level. Our political opinions are shaped by NPR, FOX News, or whatever other news source we listen to. Our opinions about our neighbors and our enemies are shaped by our close set of acquaintances, who are often just like us. And somewhere in the midst of that, our spiritual opinions are shaped by an hour or two of church per week, as well as the prayer and Bible study we do on our own. With all of these influences acting on our lives, how are we learning to see things as Jesus sees things?
But what if—somehow–the waters of our baptism changed the way our eyes work. What if the streets and shops and people of the Roanoke Valley looked somewhat familiar, and yet somehow different after we were baptized? What if the popular vision of life and culture and politics ought to be obscured, because our faith in Jesus teaches us to see things differently? If we really are different because we are Jesus-followers, how should those differences play out in our everyday life?
Our study of Exodus this fall will help us learn how God took one group of people and began shaping them in ways that would reflect his goodness and grace to their surrounding world. Our desire is that God would do the same thing for us.