Recorded for the first time since March in the WHS Theater, we begin our annual series called "The Heart of theHeart", a look into each of theHeart's core values. This week, Jason begins Part 1 with a teaching on simplicity.
Let's join together in the single most unorthodox orthodox practice among the mothers and fathers of our faith that spent time in the desert. Let's sing.
And although we are not all in the same time and space together as we listen to this, we can choose to believe that somehow, we sing together.
In part 4 of a focus on Desert Practices, Jason discusses multiple layers of consideration for the purpose of intercessory prayer.
What is intercessory prayer? Why do we ask God for things? And what do we learn in the process?
Philippians 4.6,7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In part 3 of our focus on Desert Practices, Jason guides us through a meditation on Psalm 63.1, with an emphasis on our inner selves thirsting for the presence of the Almighty One.
Psalm 63.1 - You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
(Amplified Version of the Bible translates it as “my inner self thirsts for you”)
In Part 2 of our focus on Desert Practices, Pastor Jason English examines how monks and poets harmonize with the ancient practice of creating safe asylum cities. "Let everyone that comes be received as Christ." — The Rule of St. Benedict (6th century Italian monk)
Have you been feeling a sense of loneliness and disconnection?
In this teaching, Jason invites us into individual and communal practices and disciplines that are helpful in desert places.
Also, a celebratory update about a different church family in town that has been attempting to purchase property here in Boone.
Jason continues our focus on the theme of fasting, including a look at what is described as True Fasting in Isaiah 58.
Teaching: Jason English
August 9, 2020
Respond by going to: https://www.theheart.us/coronavirus-response
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Next Generations Director Ethan Hardin takes a look at a form of national pride named exceptionalism, essentially believing one's national story is above rebuke. It is not unique to America. In fact, ancient Israel struggled with it. Is exceptionalism benign or healthy for corporate spirituality? Ethan takes a look at three prophets (Isaiah, Amos, and Jonah) and how God spoke to this issue when Israel became overly proud. When our national and corporate storytelling ignores injustice, it breeds pride. Pride breeds spiritual blindness. And the fruit of spiritual blindness is naive exceptionalism. The Church is invited into a story of humility. To begin adopting God's bigger and better story, lament is the appropriate response to the corporate sin of exceptionalism.