Summer Worship Series 2018  June 3-July 8
Have you ever had a moment of inspiration that you simply knew you had to put down on paper? You get out of bed in the middle of the night and just start writing furiously knowing that if you don’t get it down right then – it will be gone?
This doesn’t happen to me all the time but I’ve learned that these moments are often how God speaks to me and reveals things to me. I don’t hear a voice calling my name like Samuel. I don’t get visited by an Angel like Mary. And I don’t witness God’s plan for the beginning of a new heaven and a new earth like John. Instead, what I get is the periodic 4 am wakeup call and an understanding that I need to write it down as soon as I possibly can. This is when I am most aware of the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Sometimes the inspiration is for that same day, other times for later in the week, year, or some undetermined time in the future.
I’ve come to identify these moments as my Holy Spirit Wakeup Calls. Sure, I wish that instead the inspiration came in the afternoon when I was already awake or even on some semblance of a schedule that didn’t involve an acute reminder that there are hours of the morning that I haven’t seen since college, but we don’t get to choose when the Holy Spirit speaks. All we can do in that moment is try to listen and discern what is of God and what is of that bean burrito that we ate right before bed.
If you’ve been following our worship life since mid-February you might have noticed that we have been on the move as a congregation. We spent our Lenten season hearing about the Covenants that God made with Israel. These were the promises that were carried from Abraham and Sarah down through the generations and that spoke of having a land to call their own, offspring more numerous than the stars, and becoming a blessing to other nations. Those covenant promises were fulfilled through the Easter story and as Jesus was crucified and risen the promise to become a blessing to other nations expanded beyond a single nation to all the earth. These are the stories that we followed in the book of Acts during the Easter weeks. Our theme, This Changes Everything, explored the places that the empty tomb of Jesus Christ changed the course of history but, more importantly, changed the lives of those who witnessed it.
As we move into the summer months we are still on the move because the story doesn’t stop with Easter. We will find ourselves immersed in a community that is looking for its own Holy Spirit Wakeup Call. They’ve heard the story of Jesus Christ proclaimed to them. They’ve seen how their own lives have been changed. But they discover it is all too easy to slide back into our old patterns even if we know that the empty tomb was supposed to change everything and the Corinthians have begun to do just that. I don’t know if Paul woke up in the middle of the night and had to write down his inspiration before it was gone, but it is clear that Paul is passing a message along to the Corinthians to give their faith a wakeup call.
Why are we using a hashtag? The “#” is our contemporary version of relaying important information and bringing material together around a shared interest or theme. This is the same goal that was acoomplished by Paul writing letters to the churches in the 1st Century World. Our hope is that anyone worshipping at Lord of Life this summer will be able to use our “#s” to share their experiences of receiving a wakeup call throughout the week. By sharing our experiences others can be drawn into this same journey. This is another tool that we can use to spread the love of Christ!

June 3, 2018 – 2 Cor. 4:5-12: #WakeupCall #ClayJars
We are pressed, not crushed. Persecuted not abandoned. We might find ourselves focused on the persecution, focused on the struggles and frustrations and anger of this life. But we aren’t abandoned. In fact, we are precious treasures that have been placed inside a clay jar. Our wakeup call reminds us that God does not abandon us and considers us a priceless treasure.
June 10, 2018 – 2 Cor. 4:13-5:1: #WakeupCall #Unseen
“Fix our eyes on what is unseen” – The best part of any pirate movie is when the sailor in the crow’s nest calls out “Land Ho!” The job of the sailor in the crow’s nest? Constantly fix their eyes on what no one else can see. Stare at the horizon – into what sometimes seems like nothingness – and trust that eventually a path would be revealed. We need a wakeup call so we don’t get discouraged,,even when we can’t see the destination.
June 17, 2018 – 2 Cor. 5:6-17: #WakeupCall #NewCreation
“We are a New Creation” – No, Really! You are not the same as you once were. But old habits die hard and we fall back into our first selves. The Corinthians were dealing with the same issues. How do we let the change take hold? How do we move ourselves beyond our old habits that led to death? How do we live into our new creation to be led to life?
June 24, 2018 – 2 Cor. 8:7-15 (Readings for July 1, 2018): #WakeupCall #LiveGenerously
Paul comes right out to the Corinthians with a clear message, “You were the first to give. Now finish the work!” What does it look like for us to live generous lives with our money? What does it take for us to finish the work of giving? How we spend our money demonstrates what is important to us. Paul gives us a wakeup call. Let’s finish this work of living generously together!
July 1, 2018 – 2 Cor. 6:1-13 (Readings for June 24, 2018): #WakeupCall #NowistheTime
Paul wants the message of Jesus Christ to spread out into the world. Our job is to remove the obstacles from the path. Now is the time for us to share the Gospel. Now is the time for us to demonstrate our faith. Now is the time to know our own salvation. Paul says we will all have the troubles of this world, “afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, [and] hunger” (2 Cor. 6:4b-5). #Wakeup and hear the message of salvation, but remember that we are not yet freed from the pain of this world.
July 8, 2018 – 2 Cor. 12:2-10: #WakeupCall #Sufficient Grace
Do we believe that God’s grace is sufficient? If God’s grace is enough, it doesn’t matter if we live or die. It doesn’t matter if our loved ones live or die. This world isn’t pain free. But if God’s grace is sufficient, we will be taken care of no matter what we face. Wakeup! The worst thing that can happen to you will never be the last. God’s grace is sufficient!