Getting Ready For Sunday: How to Prepare for Worship at Uptown, February 23

There is no way to get around it; I was a very awkward middle-schooler. I was, however, quite self-aware of this and was convinced that my unpopularity was the result of my classmates and the fact that they didn’t fully appreciate all that I had to offer. I came to convince myself that high school was a completely different story. They were older and wiser, more cultured and nuanced than my middle-school peers. Once I got of out eighth grade, I thought, all of my troubles would be over. To my disappointment, I collided full force with the realization that high school’s grass was no greener than that of middle school.

We’ve all experienced the sting of unmet expectations, whether it be in school, at work, or in a relationship. Similarly, we have numerous expectations of our lives as Christians. We think that we should no longer experience the sting of disappointment and pain brought on my life this side of heaven. This often causes us to blame God for the hurt we feel. How could he let this happen? How could he bring us to this situation?

This Sunday, we see that Christ brings about a completely unexpected kingdom. He brings grace to those who don’t deserve it and promises to perfect us in our weakness. This Kingdom is one of reversals. It is one that flips our sinful expectations upside-down in order to properly orient them. It is, in fact, so foreign and unexpected that we cannot conceive of it on our own. To understand this Kingdom and to be a part of it we must look to the one who is at its head: Jesus Christ. This Sunday, let us look to Christ and His word that we might see His Kingdom and revel in the new life found therein. 

THE WORD

Scripture: Luke 7:18-35
Sermon: The Unexpected Kingdom

SONGS

Lift Up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates (arr. Traditional)
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All I Have is Yours (arr. Sojourn Music)
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Kindness (arr. Chris Tomlin)
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Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken (arr. Indelible Grace)
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Song of Preparation: Who Is This, So Weak and Helpless? (arr. Indelible Grace)
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Song of ResponseCommunion Hymn (arr. Hiram Ring)

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QUESTIONS

1. What are some of the most common undue expectations that Christians hold for Christ’s Kingdom? Which of these do you struggle with most prominently? What are specific portions of Scripture that speak to this undue expectation?

2. Christ’s Kingdom is shepherded by resolute prophets of truth. What are examples from scripture of these resolute prophets of truth? What are the common features that unify them? How might you encourage these qualities in our own leaders?

3. What are the benefits given to those who are a part of Christ’s Kingdom? Which of these benefits do you struggle to accept? How might you pray for your new life in the Kingdom of Christ?

 

 

 

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