Week of July 26
Sanctuary Church is built around the idea of following the path of Jesus, together. We believe that to be an apprentice of Jesus is to order your life to journey in 4 directions:
UPWARD / be with Jesus,
INWARD / become like Jesus,
OUTWARD / do what Jesus did and
WITHWARD / follow Jesus together
Our dream is that we would live by faith, be known by love, and be a voice of hope for our world. Our prayer is as Jesus prayed, that God’s will would be done in our neighborhoods as it is in Heaven.
Every time we gather in our home church we hit some or all of these four directions. For instance we may focus on UPWARDS by doing a traditional bible study or we might turn more attention INWARDS to wrestle with the application of the message by exploring spiritual practices.
Personal & family practices and a shared Rule of Life suggestion:
As you gather spend a few minutes catching up on life. If you have new folks do introductions. Keep things on the shorter side.
- Join a team! Volunteers needed for Kids City!
This summer we are encouraging to gather in-person where possible to eat, share, and take communion together. Make sure needs are taken care of, people are blessed and prayed for. We will return to the below practices next week – so don’t feel pressure to get through everything. Find communion liturgy at the Botton of this page.
Begin by Practicing the Lord’s Supper Together (5 minutes)
Begin your night by partaking of the bread and the cup together. Have each person bring their own Communion elements. To facilitate your time, you can either ask a member of your HomeChurch to come ready with a short prayer, liturgy, or scripture reading, or assign someone to read the scripture we’ve provided below and spend a moment in silence before continuing.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we present ourselves and our attention to you.
In your kindness, you have loved us and rescued us.
You have saved us and called us your own.
You have adopted us into your family,
so that no man, woman, or child need be lonely.
At your table, we give our awareness and our presence to you and to one another.
We share one loaf, as one body,
in allegiance to one Lord. Amen.
Debrief the teaching in a breakout (10 minutes)
- What stood out to you from this weeks teaching?
- What was most challenging? / What was most encouraging?
- Is there someway you are being invited to respond?
Read this overview
Two proofs of Christianity are the resurrection of Christ (the tomb was truly empty and Jesus is alive) and the conversion of the apostle Paul. Before his radical encounter on the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus (as he was then known) was a chief opponent of the early church. He approved the stoning of Stephen and eagerly sought to persecute those who professed faith. Acts 8:3 says that Saul “was ravaging the church by entering house after house” and dragging both men and women to prison. But something amazing happened to Saul. While he was still breathing threats against the church, Jesus appeared to him!
Saul was converted. The full account of his conversion is recounted in Acts 9. What’s truly astounding is that, in a relatively short time, he goes from attacking the church to proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues! He had experienced a a personal encounter with the risen Christ and came to know the goodness and generosity of the living God. Saul was broken, and in his absolute surrender to Christ, he was charged with a new mission. His zeal and determination remained the same as before, but now he would no longer go about destroying the church…now he would build the church.
Paul started churches all over the Mediterranean, he wrote most of the letters of the New Testament, he took the gospel to the Gentile world. It can be easy to dismiss Paul’s experience as something unique, as something only super apostles experience. But, his conversion and subsequent mission are instructive to us today. We too are called to turn from ourselves and surrender our agenda to the Lord. When we turn to Christ, we are called to a life of service, using our gifts for the building up of the church and one another. And, like Paul, we should give witness to the good news! Not all of us will plant churches, not all of us will serve on the mission field in foreign lands, and none of us will write Scripture. But, we all can experience the risen Christ and know the saving love only he offers.
Do this Practice (10 minutes)
Exercise 1: Reflection
- Leaders: Give the group time to read Paul’s personal telling of his conversion and mission in Acts 26.
- You can read the passage as a group or quietly as individuals. When you are done, spend time together asking questions of the text. What stands out about Paul’s story? What can we learn from it? How would you write your conversion story?
Practice For the Week Ahead: (20 minutes)
Exercise 2: Reflection
- This is scheduled to be the last HC meeting before breaking to rest and recharge in August. Take the remaining time to simply be together – share what travel plans you may have, what prayer requests you have, what you hope God will be doing for you and your families. Keep it simple and sweet! This is a good time to schedule 1-2 meetups for the group in the coming weeks.
Spend a few minutes praying for God’s grace over each other, that through His love God would make us an expectant people – a people that see signs God’s kingdom breaking into the world all around us! Pray that we would experience God’s healing power and that times of refreshing would pour into our lives as we give our whole selves and allegiance to His resurrected Son.
Have a great week! Enjoy the journey…
The goal for Path Community is to gather regularly with 3-5 people of the same gender, to press in together as disciples of Jesus, and to practice the most neglected commands, disciplines, and practices of the Christian life.
We don’t want to be people who just hear the Word without putting it into practice, allowing deception into our lives. We believe that following spiritual practices in these 4 directions can produce disproportionate spiritual fruit for the time and context in which we are called to follow Jesus.
We come to celebrate who you are, to acknowledge your greatness, and thank you for your love.
Come to the table, not because you must, but because you may. Come to testify, not that you are righteous, but that you sincerely love our Lord Jesus Christ and desire to be his true disciple. Come not because you are strong, but because you are weak and that you stand in constant need of God’s mercy and help. Come not to express an opinion, but to seek God’s presence and pray for the Spirit.
Hear the words of CONFESSION
“Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have “mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Amen.”
words of ASSURANCE:
If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us in all goodness, and by the power of the Holy Spirit keep us in eternal life. Amen.”
Therefore we proclaim our faith
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray,
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one”
Hear the words of our Lord Jesus Christ as they are delivered by the apostle Paul: “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’
Let us eat
In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’
Let us drink
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
May we, throughout our week remember Jesus Christ – given for the complete forgiveness of all our sins. May we Remember his presence with us. May we Remember his blessing upon us all.