I’m back from an extended summer long blog fast and want to share this story and a couple questions with you…
God has had me in the Exodus story for about a year now. It all started with a devotional, gained momentum in a short writing project and then exploded with a speaking assignment for the Mid-Atlantic Nazarene Teen camp where the Scripture was… you guessed it… Exodus. An evolving group of us shared thoughts and ideas on the week’s theme, “Freedom”, starting in January. The process was quite helpful for me personally as well as in developing the teachings for the week.
I used the following rough outline as a guide for the week:
1. Freedom from Slavery – Exodus 1 – Talking about the things that enslave us and how God wants to bring us our slavery and into freedom (Definition of slaver: submission to a dominating influence)
2. Freedom from Circumstances – Exodus 3 – Talking about how many of us, like Moses, have never really felt like we fit in or belonged, and how God can free us from circumstances, our past, our weaknesses and our excuses and use them to call us into loving others to freedom.
3. Freedom from gods – Exodus 7-12 – Talking about how God used the plagues to defeat the main gods of Egypt at the time and how in God love wins out over the gods of our culture and lives too.
4. Freedom for relationship – Exodus 19-20 – Talking about how God has freed us not to fall back into the same slavery, or into a new slavery, but has freed us to be in right kind of relationship with Him and with others – the best kind of life.
One of the great expressions of our journey as a camp through this Exodus was on Thursday night. We did “Cardboard Confessionals” We had students come up and on one side of a poster board write the things that God had has freed them from and on the other side the things that God has freed them to (or called them to). It was heartwrenching and beautiful. The courage of students to pray together, to be honest, and to share part of their story was a true Kingdom moment!
1) I wonder what more of our communities would look like if we were willing to be that honest with one another? What hope would we offer one another as we share how God is working in our lives? What light would we bring as we express the freedom that we are experiencing? What truth could we share as we confess together?
2) Collaboration makes us all better. This great moment only came about because some of the people at the camp – notably Gregg Alsbrooks and Brian Miller – were willing to share this idea with me and work with me to find a way to incorporate more student involvement and sharing. Their ideas on this came from the below YouTube video of another church’s similar experience. While it is not exactly the same, it will give you an idea of what it can look like and the power of it.
A couple of questions for you:
1) What has God freed you from?
2) What has God freed you for (or called you to)?