Today was one of those days.
One of my daughters didn’t want to wake up for school today.
None of my kids wanted to eat their breakfast with any urgency.
I was tasked with giving the girls a hairstyle that a lady only needs 2 seconds and a man needs a phD. (Seriously…can we stop offering Zumba at community centers and start giving “how to do hair” clinics for dads with daughters?)
Then I hit the first-day-of-school traffic at an elementary by my house.
Then there was a 3 car accident on the exit ramp on the only highway to work.
Disruption. All morning.
And how did I handle it? In such a way that God is showing me I don’t really believe what I’m about to preach on Sunday. I’m about to coach some Mid-High students about being humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another in love from Ephesians 4:1-6.
I need the Word of God to transform me just as much as I want it to transform my students.
So this Sunday I’m kicking off our “CONNECTED” series at the Mid-High gathering. In studying Ephesians 2 for this message, I saw a connection I’ve never seen before.
Verse 19 says “you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.”
First, if you are not part of God’s Kingdom, you are a foreigner. Much like if you are not a ‘murican, yer one of them foreigners. But the good news is there’s a way to be welcomed.
Foreigners can become citizens through a lengthy naturalization process. Foreigners can become family through adoption.
Citizens and children both enjoy all the rights and privileges of that country. But children have access to the Father.
I can’t wait to unpack why it’s so important to be connected in the body of Christ! If you know any 7th, 8th, or 9th graders, send them my way at 9:30am this Sunday!
This year in the Mid-High we are trying a new format: on Sundays I’ll preach from our series and in our Wednesday small groups we’ll revisit the message with discussion questions about it (because one message in a week is easier to remember and live out than three).
Here’s the 6 week series arc for our new series under this format, CONNECTED:
Week 1 – Connected In Christ
Week 2 – Connected in Unity
Week 3 – Connected in Growth
Week 4 – Connected Through Words
Week 5 – Connected In Service
Week 6 – Connected Through Prayer
Bring your friends! And as always, if you miss a week, you can stay connected and watch the messages here: https://www.youtube.com/user/yellin05/videos.
One of Judah’s kings, King Uzziah (pictured above; 2 Chronicles 26:23), was stricken with leprosy. And if you are a moderate student of the Bible, you understand the severe separation that was required and imposed partly from fear that lepers had to go through. In 2 Chronicles 26:23 King Uzziah died a leper and it says he
was buried near [his ancestors] in a cemetery that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.”
He didn’t rest with his ancestors. He wasn’t laid in a tomb. Even in death his leprosy excluded him from community.
Can you imagine being a leper at the time of Jesus, then? King Uzziah was buried separately, as a leper, almost 900 years before Christ. Just imagine the severity of the stigma after each generation. This makes Jesus’ embracing lepers all the more remarkable.
Our culture has these people, too. Maybe not people actually afflicted with leprosy, but there are social outcasts that believe there is no hope in life. Ours is a culture that will reject someone if their glasses aren’t in style. Ours is a culture that dedicates websites to laughing at people at Wal Mart. Ours is a culture that is so bored we bully people to death.
I wonder if our Kingdom is supposed to look like our culture?