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so so that’s a somewhat old video of my kids that I put together just just because it’s got this poignant question right like what do you want to be like what what’s the future hold for you she’s wrestling already and the fun part is now we get to go back and and wrestle we we spoke about this the other day and I said well does that still work and she’s like no I I don’t know I want to be famous anymore that seems like really hard work and and our lives maybe I spent asking this question maybe what do we want to be maybe just simply what do I want we’re in this series where we’re talking about emotions and we’ll get to that in a second let me just make sure for those of you who weren’t here last week we’re up to speed we’re in this series on the church calendar that we would call lent through to easter it’s this idea that God is for us that Jesus came into this world to to rescue us to do something specific for us now we don’t go like full send on lent uh we we sang a song with a thousand hallelujahs in it so let me just say we protect you from some of the that we I’ve got some friends who pastor a church down the road and and I was chatting to them the other day and they said you know we fast the word hallelujah for like the the season of lent I’m like well we’re just gonna take all your hallelujahs and we’ll use all of them because we’re going to sing a thousand hallelujahs and and now when I do that usually aaron takes that as this moment where he’s now going to put together this really melancholy feely set next week and just to warn you that’s probably coming lent is the season where we generally think more about the the more difficult things and that’s helpful for me because I tend to be upbeat almost all the time and so for me just being me you wouldn’t get much of that this calendar sort of protects you from that and we make this movement through easter this celebration of resurrection on resurrection sunday all the way through to pentecost where we celebrate the idea that if you are a follower of Jesus the promise is that God’s spirit dwells within you that this is a new thing and you get to partner with him in the world around you and so we pick the season to talk about some emotions and emotions any time you start to unpack them this could be a hard conversation some of us would say I don’t want to do that some of you have already said to me if I did that my wife wouldn’t know me anymore it’s probably not a good idea to open that pandora’s box sort of 30 40 years into a marriage but the truth is like we we tend to go one of two ways we tend to either just not talk about them at all maybe we talk about them a little bit too much one of the things that helped me understand this a little bit was was the idea of family road trips and I picked the great bluey cartoon there’s a lot of cartoon in here today I don’t have a reason for that some of you could probably find a reason but but you think about going on a road trip with your kids it’s chaos it’s it’s noisy there’s some fun to it the truth is when you go on that kind of trip there’s two things you can’t do you can’t just shove your kids in the trunk of the car you can’t do so some of you are like there’s one parent in every family that’s like you’re the one that would put them in the trunk of the car you also can’t let them drive the car like you can’t have them in charge and there’s probably one parent that’s like you’re the one that would let them drive and you can figure out who is who there’s those two tendencies emotions can’t drive everything about your life they can’t control everything but if you just shut them in a trunk you’re kind of missing some of the purpose I think we tend to talk about emotions as good versus bad maybe better language languages is this maybe easy and difficult emotions there’s some emotions that are really easy to feel happiness is really easy to feel and yet we handed out an emotions wheel last week and talked about this all this big spectrum of 72 different emotions and and a chunk of them right a negative or difficult chunk of them aren’t easy to feel necessarily and yet why is this important work a couple of things on a practical level this is john gottman from the one of the big marriage institutes in america emotionally intelligent husbands are key to a lasting marriage so if you’re a guy here who’s married or would like to be married and you’re saying I don’t want to do emotional work the truth is you being emotionally healthy is one of the biggest predictors as to whether you’ll have a healthy marriage that’s a big deal right secondly does this idea that following Jesus some of us we treat that as just about thinking or thoughts we have information about God and yet I would suggest these feelings bring new data that is missing when only thoughts are trusted genuinely meeting God in love not simply in thoughts will therefore always be deeply growth producing somewhere my hope for us as individuals in a community is we don’t just have information that says God loves us but the somewhere where that drops from just a cerebral thing into some of the feelings into some of the emotional core does that mean you always have to feel that way it doesn’t but does it mean that actually sometimes you should and you should have this awareness that God loves you that he likes you that’s an important thing and then the truth is just from the beginning it seems that God thinks emotions are important from the early hebrew tradition on the story of the first family this ad these adam and eve characters I’m going to introduce you to if you’re unfamiliar with them they were understood as fundamentally about emotions and emotional suffering as central to God’s oracle to the first couple what does that mean that could probably use a little bit of unpacking the truth is we were made with emotion but the four introduces emotional suffering from the beginning there is emotion in this genesis story that will unpack God creates and he is happy in his creation he says it is good he enjoys it there is emotion there it seems that for the first couple there is emotional tranquility for the most part to start with there are good emotions and yet this fall creates this idea of emotional suffering everything changes in that moment so for this emotion today we’re gonna track back to this story this not the first story of the first human couple maybe the second story the first different story we’re told quite simply God makes adam and eve now some of you in the room would say I’m very much an evolutionist we’re just gonna leave you with that for a second some of you would say I’m very much a six day creationist and and some of you would say I don’t know what either of those two things are and that’s fine as well we’re just gonna start with the story as we’re given it within the text and we’re told in genesis chapter 3 if you have a text that this is what happened now the serpent again no information about who the serpent is no information about where he came from no information about the origin of evil in the universe just simply a garden with adam and eve and a new character enters everything is good in the garden this serpent character enters the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the lord God had made he said to the woman did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden now the woman said to the serpent we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden but God did say you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden and you must not touch it or you will die you will not certainly die the serpent said to the woman for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil when the woman saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom she took some and ate it she also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it this is the story we are presented with in genesis chapter 3 a man and a woman occupy this garden it is good this character comes in who convinces them to make a decision that will lead to a story that is not good what what happens what my question would be this what emotion is here what causes them to make this decision yes the answer might be like we know maybe our bible history maybe it’s just that word is temptation but but okay but what emotion caused that temptation why make this decision what is the motivation if that’s important for this decision so let’s go back a little bit further we started in genesis chapter 3. let’s go back to genesis chapter 2 and see if that helps us at all so in genesis chapter 2 verse 7 we’re told the lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being verse 8 and 9 now the lord God had planted a garden in the east in eden and there he put the man he had formed the lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food in the middle of the garden there was a tree the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the lord God took the man and put him in the garden and eden of eden to work it and to take care of it and the lord God commanded the man you are free to eat from any tree in the garden but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat from it you will certainly die and this is just an important little thing for next week adam and eve and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame the story we read in genesis chapter three will cause shame but right now shame is not an emotion that they feel and next week kevin butcher will come and he’ll teach us on shame it’s going to be fantastic he was a pastor in detroit for many years and has written a ton on this so I’m really excited to hear what he shares with us but right now before all of this their stories they don’t feel shame there is no emotional suffering at this point what causes them what does this serpent character do to move them from a story that is good to a story that will be bad how does he play on their emotions to say no no we’re gonna we’re gonna move you into this new story I would suggest the central emotion of this story is discontent they believe that God is holding out on them they have one story that is good and this serpent convinced them it convinces them there is another story that is even better if you make this decision if you do this thing the new story will be even better than the current story and and the interesting part perhaps is this it says that they will die and yet when they do it they don’t die initially it seems that the serpent is the one that has told the truth he said that you won’t die and they don’t but they do begin to die something has happened that has fundamentally changed the story that they will live and a james a new testament writer will say this then after desire has conceived it gives birth to sin and sin when it is foreground gives birth to death somewhere this decision changes fundamentally their story it was a good story and now it is a bad story it was a story with no shame and it’s now a story with shame and all of that centers around discontent and again so another question why how does this character that come in convince them that the story will be better if they follow his narrative or his idea of what comes next what causes the discontent what causes it let’s go back a little bit further we did genesis chapter three we did genesis chapter two now let’s go back to genesis one genesis chapter 1 gives us maybe what you might call the initial story like the first story who are you and I made to be so let’s go back and look at that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth now the earth was formless and empty darkness was over the face of the deep this writer isn’t concerned by the fact that God might make a world that was broken and needed fixing he just says that’s what happened that’s no more problematic to him than God creating a world in six days when he could have done it like that the spirit of God was hovering over the waters we skip down to verse 11 and see how this creation shapes then God said let the land produce vegetation seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it according to their various kinds and it was so the land produced vegetation plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds and guards saw that it was good and there was evening and there was mourning the third day God doesn’t just make trees and then make another tree and then make another tree he makes trees that make other trees he makes a creation that’s continually producing there’s a couple of words there that become important there’s this word dasha which means to sprout bring forth and produce you guys experience this or will experience in a couple of weeks you know when you go to the cracks in your driveway and things are growing out of them that isn’t because you planted something there unless you’re doing gardening completely wrong there is some life in creation that just springs out and continues to produce this word zera seed or offspring trees that produce other trees through their seeds it’s almost the same language as children this creation that God makes is vibrant and continuing and growing it doesn’t just stay as it is maybe some of you guys that have been in church for a long time if you’ve heard words like eden is perfect the answer is well yes depending on what you mean by perfect if by perfect do you mean it was this place that was just supposed to stay exactly as it was forever and ever then no genesis this writer does not understand that kind of perfect he understands a kind of perfect that is growing and expanding it’s perfect in its intent or its origin but it doesn’t just stay there static and and like it was for all time it has this purpose laced into it there is dasha there is zera there are these words that are expanding and there are growing and all this is important because now you and I get introduced into the story at least in terms of our forefathers or our first couple then God said let the land produce vegetation and it was so God speaks and it happens he is creative and he puts creativity into his creation then God said let us make mankind in our image in our likeness so they may rule over the fish and the sea and the birds in the sky over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground so the word here that’s important is this word selem which is just simply meaning to resemble something not physically we don’t physically resemble this creator but somewhere we are like him somewhere in our creativity and our way of doing things we operate like he does and doesn’t that speak to some of the difference that you see between us and other parts of creation a bird doesn’t wake up one morning and say do you know I’m just a little unhappy with how my curtains match my bed sheets and how that blends with the carpet and all of those different things so I think I’ll just redecorate the whole thing to a bird and nest is functional it has a purpose to us it’s a it’s a way of endless creativity of creating new options of bringing out color palettes that ladies understand and guys don’t we’ll get to that another week because that’s an important way of thinking about emotion then God said let us make mankind in our image in our likeness so they may rule over the fish and the sea and the birds in the sky over the livestock and all the wild animals over all the creatures that move along the ground so they may rule now rulership is added into this and then be fruitful and increase in number fill the earth and subdue it rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground if you’re someone who loves hunting I’m giving you an apology for hunting right now it seems because somewhere you’re supposed to rule over this world according to this writer in genesis there’s different words that come in here this word radar which means to tread down to to give it some shape you as a person in creation are made to help shape it it seems that was your original purpose and then this word this beautiful word kabash which means to subdue this is like the verb that someone who is a radha a ruler would act upon it it reminds me do any any of you guys play that whack-a-mole game uh where you go to the arcade and these things they jump up and you have a hammer and you have to keep hitting them and it seems that’s what you and I are made to do in creation to a certain degree we’re supposed to keep it in control the things that grow the cracks that grow you have to take care of them the plants that grow up when they’re not supposed to somewhere you are made to deal with that thing you are made to have a role in that then God said I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it they will be yours for food I would suggest and I think there’s lots of other writers that would suggest that our role is to be involved with God in his creation this is what philip hefner says we are created by God to be co-creators in the creation that God has purposefully brought into being we are made to be co-creators that’s our original story we are co-creators so think about what that means when you get a little bit further along somewhere God has made a world and he has made this world and it is bro it is chaotic is the word that is used and then he plants this garden that isn’t chaotic he plants this garden that that meets all of his standards that is as he would shape the world and he puts people in it like you and I and he says now grow this thing this thing is infused with life it will continue to grow but shape it form it help it go in the right direction you might say that discontent is embedded in the story I I said that discontent was what caused adam and eve to make this decision that changed everything for everyone but but somewhere if we believe eden is supposed to grow and supposed to be shaped by people like you and I discontent is supposed to be there think about that moment that maybe you’ve had I have my two my 0.25 acres my little highlands ranch plot and I have these moments where it starts to get dark and I’m out there working and I’m like I just I just wish it would stay light for another hour I have so much that I want to do I I want to do all of these different things to make it as I’ve imagined it and somewhere that pictures or mirrors their story they were made to shape the creation God had infused with life they were co-creators and maybe that tells us something about where the story is going I have this suspicion that for many of us if we’re honest even if we’ve sat in church for many years when people mention heaven secretly there’s this thing inside us that’s like sounds kind of boring I I don’t actually know if I want to go there I was told heaven was an endless worship service and there was part of me that was like what is that it because every one of us have had these moments where we stand singing songs and we’ve been standing for 20 minutes and aaron has this beautiful delightful voice and yet we’re like I’m ready to do something different I can’t just keep singing forever and I always pictured this this idea that it was just this endless worship service and then I read genesis and I was like wait work was there in the beginning involvement in the story and shaping it was there from the beginning I was made to co-create with God and that’s got some different elements than just singing now I’m not saying that there won’t be lots of singing in heaven it seems to be in the text it seems to be this idea that we will sing praises to God and yet there seems to be still this sense that we will be involved in something that is bigger than just singing songs if that’s your picture of heaven maybe there is an element in your honest moments like I don’t know if I want to do that or don’t know if that feels like like like what heaven is or what God has planned it seems like we’ve lost some picture of just where the story is going discontent is embedded into the story it was supposed to guide their stewardship of the earth as we partner with God in more creativity you are creative because your creator is creative when you are creating you are partnering with him when you operate in this world you are stewarding with him and yet even in the midst of that good story that exciting story somehow this character comes in this serpent and he’s able to sow some scent of some sense of different discontent yes there was discontent this should be growing this needs to expand God has more work to do and we get to partner with him and now this serpent comes in and he brings in a different narrative a different kind of discontent you will not certainly die if you eat this fruit the serpent said to the woman for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil somewhere this serpent’s idea is that there might be a better story maybe God is holding out on you right now as a co-creator he’s still the centerpiece of the story but what if you were the center of the story what if it was about you what if you were like him what what if you were God the serpent’s discontent is about is not about the story it’s about their role in the story it suggests that there may be something else for them the cause of this new discontent is the serpent’s idea that there might be a more advantageous story what if there could be more what if I could have everything I ever wanted what if there’s something else the writer of this book ecclesiastes this mysterious book that has no known author says this and I saw that all toil and achievements spring from one person’s envy of another this too is meaningless and are chasing after the wind this writer suggests that each one of us is chasing after something or has the temptation at least to chase after something believing it will give us everything we ever wanted the indie band mgmt talk about this in their song uh time to pretend I’m feeling rough I’m feeling raw I mean the prime of my life let’s make some music make some money find some models for wives the models will have children we’ll get a divorce we’ll find some more models everything must run its course it’s this picture of just there’s got to be more there’s got to be more and I am the center of this story I am always looking for the next thing it is a picture of this almost eternal state of discontent that we can land in as human beings it seems the serpent’s first story his first lie was there may be more for you there may be a better story and perhaps for us the constant idea is that there might be a better story there might be something different what if you could have everything you ever wanted it’s a question that I think is raised by another wonderful cartoon these guys the very great wily coyote I’m gonna fix my laces bugging me I’m sure it’s bugging some of you will now if it wasn’t before

the very great road runner and wylie coyote what happens in road runner uh he’s constantly chased by this coyote now you may or may not know this but this cartoon comes with some rules the guy that created it created a set of rules to help all of the writers shape the cartoon the one rule is that the road runner cannot hurt the coyote except by saying beep beep like that’s his only thing that he can do there is no dialogue other than beep beep and roadrunner has to stay on the road uh because if he’s not on the road then he’s a roadrunner it’s a whole philosophical problem if you go down that avenue you’re like I don’t know what to do with the world anymore so these guys have this back and forth battle the coyote constantly chasing the road runner constantly wanting to catch him to him as we’re left to imagine to eat him or something like that what are the possibilities for kayak for coyote in his state of discontent the possibility right number one is this he doesn’t catch roadrunner possibilities he doesn’t catch roadrunner never gets the thing he believes is going to make his life what he wants it to be it’s going to give him everything he wants and he doesn’t get it so he just keeps going and going and going until he possibly forgets why he even began the writer george santayana said this fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts even when you’ve forgotten your aim and you’re sometimes left wondering is that where coyote is he’s just disbelieved he wants roadrunner for so long he just keeps on going what if he never catches him well then he’s never fulfilled he’s never happy but there’s an equally pressing problem what if he does catch him what if he does catch roadrunner where does the story go then because he’s believed that catching this bird will give him everything he wants and then he does what happens next fortunately because of how much content there is in the world we don’t even have to wonder about this the very brilliant people that family guy actually created a scenario where wiley catches roadrunner he does the thing where he has a rock a boulder set up to land on the road and road runner runs through and this time he pulls the cord and instead of road runner sneaking through in the the boulder somehow in some weird way landing on wiley coyote it hits roadrunner he squashed that pesky bird he takes him home back to the female version of wiley coyote and they sit together and they eat road runner and he’s got everything he ever wanted it’s like joy like they celebrate they have a big party and he’s so happy and then someone asks him a question they said what are you going to do now

and he looks at the camera and he’s like I don’t know I didn’t really go to school to be honest like I I’ve been chasing this bird as long as I can remember I don’t have another purpose there’s nothing else I’m interested in this is consumed night and day for me I’ve constantly gone back after this but even when disaster has fallen even when cliffs have mysteriously disappeared from under my feet even when boulders that are supposed to land on a bird have landed on me I have still gone back time and time again looking for this thing that I believe will bring me happiness and now I’ve got it and so in in this episode he ends up sitting watching daytime tv drinking tequila he ends up flipping burgers in wendy’s just trying to find something that brings him life and he ends up really depressed he’s actually just like I don’t know what to do with myself anymore he is a picture of ecclesiastes what happens when you think this thing will bring you what you want and it doesn’t he’s a picture of genesis what happens when you think this thing will give you what you want and it doesn’t it’s the oldest trick in the book and if we’re honest it’s one we fall for time and time again we’ll get on to more difficult emotions like anger and shame and fear but the truth is for so many of us this is where we live in chunk of our time discontent if only I could have this thing where does discontent take you where does that road runner scenario take you it seems that somewhere we go a couple of different ways the writer of ecclesiastes goes on to say fools fold their hands and ruin themselves that doesn’t seem in his mind just doing nothing isn’t the answer better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind his recommendation is this one handful it is this picture of learning to be content it’s language that paul the new testament writer will use when he says I’ve learned to be content in everything but so many much of the time don’t you and I don’t we land in that second part two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind I think the guys that wrote that song mgmt they they would get that two hands chasing after the wind they would get I’m always looking for something else and we see this in our language about so many different things we see this in our language about money you may have heard the the line what’s a rich person’s favorite million and the answer is the next one it’s the next one it’s the one that I don’t have yet the oligarch or the the octogenarian from the simpsons mr burns he has millions and millions of dollars in one episode I told you there was a lot of cartoon today I have no explanation for it whatsoever it’s simply chance but there’s this moment where where homer simpson says to him mr burns you’re so rich the richest person I know way richer than anybody else and mr burns looks at him and says so poignantly yep it’s true I am rich but I’d give it all up for a little more I’d give it all up for a little more like I’d surrender it so long as more comes back the other way we see that with with wealth and the truth is I said a rich person’s favorite million but that wealth question isn’t about rich versus poor that’s every single one of us if I just had this I would be content that would be enough and yet just like wiley coyote we get the thing and there’s another thing how about in relationships now we have south I love the fact we have people from all sorts of different backgrounds and so people have been through loads of different relational relational struggles and I don’t want anyone to feel guilty about a past relationship but think about into the future one of the things that people say causes people to have affairs is this they have a partner a spouse with 90 percent of what they long for in a relationship and then they meet somebody else and that person has the 10 percent that the other person doesn’t have it’s not that they have everything it’s not the it’s just the complete person but that 10 is so intriguing and the question becomes what if I was with that person wouldn’t that give me everything that I wanted no one stops to question whether just having 10 or even 25 will really be satisfactory but just like chasing road runner there is the idea that oh if only that was the case if only that was the scenario if only that was the story and again behind it whether it’s money it’s sex or power the suspicion is think God the universe whoever think they’re holding out on me there’s a better story for me if only I could have that next thing

interestingly Jesus asks this super poignant question to two of his future disciples that I think maybe helps us navigate some of this a little bit this is john chapter 1 verse 36 the next day john was there again this is john the baptist with two of his disciples when they saw Jesus passing by he said look the lamb of God when the two disciples heard him say this they followed Jesus turning around Jesus saw them following and asked what do you want what do you want on the surface maybe the question is just simply like what do you want do you want to follow me or something like that but but but thinking about that that question like in all different circumstances it just can get very profound taps back into me asking my daughter at five years old what do you want to be at a start to her starting to create this potential future for herself and I would suggest that for you and I when we land in those moments of discontent when we land in those moments we’re like I believe there might be a better story I believe that someone is holding out on me maybe the question we get to ask ourselves is the same question that Jesus asked his disciples what do you want what do you want because I would suggest the thing that we really want deep down in the core of ourselves is that first thing that adam and eve had I think you and I are made to be co-creators with God and I think somewhere the story we’ve been given is this you were born bad and Jesus came and he saved you from your badness and that’s not the full story is it because the heartbreaking story is you were born great or you were made to be great that’s always the truth like that when you look at literature that’s always the tragedy of different characters the tragedy of macbeth that we talked about the other week isn’t that he was bad it’s that he could have been great and the tragedy of humanity is that we were made to be green made to be co-creators made to partner with God in this world and the story we’ve been told is no you were born bad and Jesus saved you from your badness and that actually is part of the story we did become bad there is brokenness there is sin there is tragedy in the story Jesus does fix that problem but maybe it’s more maybe along with fixing that problem maybe along with this idea of forgiveness maybe the uh be beyond the idea that the cross brings forgiveness of sin maybe there is also this beautiful truth that that genesis story that we begin with maybe he begins to restore that for us as well I would suggest we’ve been told that the bible starts in genesis chapter 3 and finishes somewhere around the end of the gospel narratives and yet the truth is the full thing starts in genesis 1 made to be co-creators fallen broken yes but now restored by this incredible Jesus who who of paul of whom paul says this for God was pleased to have all of his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things whether things on earth or things in heaven by making peace through his blood shed on the cross we come to this table today and we celebrate the idea of death and resurrection we recognize that Jesus gave his body and his blood but the truth is the big picture of this is that it isn’t just about forgiveness of sins this is about God not giving up on this world reconciling it restoring it bringing about this old story and creating it as a news story that’s the full picture of everything that we’re seeing happen and maybe when they ask the question what do you want maybe the answer is I long because it’s in my nature to be a co-creator and perhaps you’ve been told somewhere that the valuable people and the valuable jobs are people that work in church and if you do something outside of that your job is to make as much money as you can and contribute money to the church and that’s your function and yet when you think about this genesis picture it feels like there’s almost nothing that you can’t do and partner well with God in it and bring life to this creation it seems like in this story it is so much less about what you do and so much more about how you do it it seems there are so many things that you could partner with God in as a co-creator and bring stewardship and life to this world that seems to be our story and it brings us back to that question what do I want what do I want when you when discontent starts to circle when the roadrunner coyote scenario starts to sort of raise itself in your mind when you start to ask yourself questions about is there a better story some questions we can ask ourselves might be these what do I want what do I want for those around me where do I experience discontent what need or suspicion is behind that and then this question I love whose story is central in my preferred future when you imagine what this other story might look like when you imagine where it might go when you like my five-year-old at the time daughter begin to sketch out your life plan the question I might ask is who stays central in that story because for adam and eve the suggestion was you can be the center you can be the you can be the thing that matters and that was never ever a place you were made to be a co-creator in God’s great story and when you do that there is almost again nothing that you can’t do well any business any way that you operate in the world any way of living can bring life to this world whether you are staying at home with kids homeschooling whether you are doing something with employees and building a company there are so many things that it seems like we can participate in well just let your imagination go and you can create with the God of the universe as a co-creator and on the downside there’s almost nothing that we can’t do badly if we make ourselves the center saint augustine this writer from the fourth century said this a heart is restless until it rests in you I wish you’d continued that just a little bit because I feel like this is what I would have said our heart is restless until it rests in you and your story God has made himself almost inseparable from his great story he has created this world and he has incredibly entered into the story himself as a character within it in the midst of a world that became broken he says I am not giving up on this thing how easy to say I’m just going to create something new but how much more life given to say I’m going to take the thing that was broken and I I will reconcile all things you were made to be a co-creator with the God of the universe and the incredible message of Jesus is you still you still can you still can so when we come to this table we come with a few different things in mind we come remembering that Jesus invited to do it as to do it in remembrance of him he invited us to come and take bread and remember his body broken for us he invited us to take wine grape juice and remember his blood shed for the sins of the world he also invited us to repeatedly re-enter his great story to come and remind ourselves that this is about the reconciliation of all things and that is a great story to be a part of so when you come you come and you consume a story when you come and you take these elements you consume the story that God has in the world and I would hope this as well I would hope that that story consumes you I would hope that for you and I it takes every part of us everything that we do and it gives it this incredible nobility it says that when you go out into the world whatever that looks like for you this week whenever there is this discontent that arises what you get to say is no I am co-creating with the God of the universe we are partnering together making a new world whatever your world looks like you can do that with the God of the universe this week let’s pray

God as we come to your table would you guide our emotions some of us come feeling fearful scared

angry some of us come feeling discontented feeling like the world is holding out on us that you are holding out on

you restored us to our original purpose

then for a second I’d like you to ask yourself is it real will it really do what I think

maybe the answer is I don’t know then I’d like you to just take that preferred future that thing you’re moving towards and ask yourself who is the center of that story

because there’s one thing that seems consistent across all of scripture all of these books within this bible that we hold and read the God of the universe will take second place to no one else in the story this is his story you’re invited into partner to create but you can never be the center of this story

God I thank you that you gave us a story that began with goodness of creation you made us with purpose in your image

and even in that broken story you come and you bring new life forgiveness reconciliation of all things and so today as you follow us two thousand years later we gather and we remember Jesus we remember his body broken for us as we take the bread

remember his blood shared for the sins of the world thank you that you are reconciling all things through that we take the black together

Jesus thank you for your great story may consume us this week as we live our story in the world with you go in peace friends have a great sunday