In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
13 People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them. But the disciples scolded them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he grew angry and said to them, “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. 15 I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he hugged the children and blessed them.
46 An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. 47 Aware of their deepest thoughts, Jesus took a little child and had the child stand beside him. 48 Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me. Whoever welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever is least among you all is the greatest.”
37 “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.’
The church’s fourth 2030 goal says we will work to “break the cycle of poverty for children in Kansas City, giving each child the possibility of attaining a future with hope.” Scholar Craig Keener noted that the culture around Jesus thought even less of children than ours: “Status was a preeminent concern in ancient society; children had none.” * We say nicer things about children, but (especially when they are not our own offspring) we too often ignore forces that deny them equal opportunity in life.
Lord Jesus, you chose to offer blessings with your words, particularly to those who most needed caring and appreciation. Teach me how to choose to do the same. Amen.
As we consider this week’s theme of vision statements & looking toward an improved future, I began reminiscing about our Men’s Group & how we got started 21 years ago.
We were an offshoot of the Pathfinder Sunday School class, which was a group of couples just starting their families. Pathfinders met Sunday mornings in the basement below what is now the Student Center. (Keeping with the SUV theme, I suppose today we’d be called the Yukon or Rav4 class.)
Our class members were rather prolific. During an 18-month stretch, we prepped meals to celebrate & support the arrival of 21 babies. (The hallway outside our room resembled the stroller parking lot at Disney World’s Peter Pan’s Flight.)
The guys in our group were feeling a tad stressed, simultaneously trying to balance fatherhood, marriage, & career, so, since our wives were already involved in several groups at Resurrection, we thought maybe we could start a group just for the guys.
On a bitterly cold January evening in 2002, we developed a Vision Statement that would clarify our purpose, would help attract other guys to join our group, &, most importantly, would demonstrate to our wives that we weren’t gathering to just talk about sports. (Since this sports era was post-Brett & pre-Mahomes, it wasn’t that challenging to convince our wives of the sincerity of our purpose.)
After much discussion, we arrived at the following Vision Statement: “Allow God to use our small group of men to create a life in Christ in us & in those whom we influence.” Our goal was to emphasize that we would actively be open to God’s guidance, that we would strive to be transformed through our time together, & seek to be good Christian role models for our families & our community.
Aside: Vision Statements can be hard to create. An Optometrist Convention took forever picking between possible suggestions: “Okay. Which is better? A or B?” B? Okay. What about now? A or B? A? Okay. What about now…?”
We would meet twice a month at 8:30 p.m., so we wouldn’t cut into our parenting time, & we would rotate facilitators as we discussed books of the Bible & studies about fatherhood, marriage, workplace leadership, etc. Our first study was Richard Foster’s classic book, Celebration of Discipline. We used this book as the template for our group where we emphasized study, attending worship, & time in prayer. (During one Lenten season, we fasted for 24-hours prior to our meeting & would break the fast at the start of our gathering. Coincidentally, the punctuality of our attendees improved markedly.)
Aside: A Pastor was telling the kids gathered around him for the Children’s Sermon that he had been fasting from his wife’s meals on Wednesdays during Lent. A little boy piped up & said, “I don’t need to fast.” The Pastor, thinking this could be a powerful teaching moment, said, “Oh really? Why not?” The boy replied, “My Mom’s a good cook.”
Our theme verse was Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This verse reminded us that sharpening needs to be done regularly or else the tool will become useless, that sharpening can help correct imperfections & improve effectiveness, &, finally, that sharpening can’t be done alone – it requires assistance.
Our Pathfinders class eventually dissolved as many of our gang answered the call to volunteer in the nursery or in KidsCor, but our Men’s Group continues to gather. As our kids’ schedules/activities changed, we shifted our gathering time to 6:00 a.m. (That certainly didn’t eat into quality time with our teenagers.)
Aside: As one Lenten-focused Dad liked to say to his sons as his offspring arise at the crack of 11:00 on a Saturday morning, “He is risen! He is risen, indeed!”
So, what might this reminiscing mean for us today?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to download the hymn “Be Thou My Vision.” Of course, if I wanted to do this in 2002, I’d need to log onto my AOL account & set aside 13 minutes for the download. Considering how far we’ve come, it’s easy to get excited about the potential & possibilities for 2030. Let’s go!
* Craig S. Keener, comment on Luke 9:46-48 in The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.