Everywhere we go we take our bodies with us. Everything we do, we do in our bodies. Whether we like it or not, we have the body that we do. Most of the time we don’t know how to think about the fact that God has created us in a way that we are inescapably physical. His image as the infinite God is strangely and shockingly expressed in embodied humans. Even more startling, Jesus Himself took on a body and promises to give us eternal, resurrected bodies at His return. Even so, for several reasons the Church has not always been great at talking about this and tends to emphasize the spiritual life over the physical. How should we think about these things? In this class, we hope to trace the gospel story as it pertains to our physical bodies in order to uncover the truth about the body. Connections will be made to food and drink, body image, exercise and fitness, rest and sleep, disability, sexuality, as well as technology and social media with the hope of living more faithfully and joyfully as the embodied souls that we’ve been created to be.
While there is certainly a lot to learn in the great outdoors, this class isn't primarily concerned with finding your way home if you get lost in the woods! While some of us have known the wilderness as a real place with various challenges and difficulties, we all experience “the wilderness” in the challenging and difficult seasons of our lives. When we are “in the wilderness” we find ourselves feeling out of control (I can’t seem to do anything to change things! I can’t fix this!), without clarity (Why is this even happening? How did I get here?), and also feeling a lack of consequence (Where is this going? What’s going to happen next?). Come to this class and hear how God meets His people “in the wilderness” and fills them with Himself...offering peace under His control, comfort amidst tons of questions, and courage to press on knowing He is with you. Life is hard y’all...God wants you to know that He get’s it and to experience Him right in the middle of all of it.
There are a variety of ways to react when facing a wild bear in the woods. You could fight. You could scare. You could stand. You could hide. You could run. Regardless of the reaction, this moment is not safe. But, what if you confidently knew the bear you were facing was good? Would your reaction change? Would you sit with the bear? God instructs us to "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ" [Galatians 6:2]. To bear someone's burdens can be like facing a bear in the woods. The variety of reactions is the same. But, God promises the reward is great, for us and for others, when we boldly embrace the work of burden-bearing.
There are often times in life where we feel so isolated that nothing could pierce the loneliness. Starting a new school when you walk into the cafeteria for the first time… when all your friends seem more concerned with their individual romances than your friendship… when your parents tell you they are getting divorced… when you cannot shake the sadness and anxiety that you wear like a heavy blanket and don't know why… when you lose someone you love… or when you try to pray but it feels like no one is listening or no one cares. “Sometimes what we call ‘loneliness’ is what God’s word calls a longing for unhindered intimacy with Him and others…. You thought you were hiding, but in reality, I was setting you up to meet with Me. That’s what you need. You need an encounter with Me.” In this class we will learn what it means to risk coming out of hiding and the riches of being held by the Lord. Come join me as we search for a personal and intimate encounter with our God within the loneliness.
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