Jacob

Jacob

When a story is true, not just in fact but in its connection to life as it really is, it becomes a source of life. We get carried along with gracious surprise, finding pieces of ourselves, and who God is for us. This fall we follow the story of Jacob, that conflicted and restless man who wrestled with God.

One of our favourite theologians, Abraham Heschel, teaches us that the Bible is more about God’s search for us than our search for God. Jacob’s story is proof of that concept. For what we see here, in vibrant detail, is how God chases Jacob, pursuing him through his wanderings and failures until at the end of his story we see him fully caught by grace. He realizes all that has happened: “[Jacob] worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” (Gen 47:31)

This story has it all. The mystery of birth order, the stress of sibling rivalry, the common seeds of relational breakdown, the consequences of falsity, the hope of romance, the long years of labour, the burden of an unreconciled past, the glory of forgiveness, the life- changing effect of wrestling with God. It’s all here. 


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Hands at Work

We had the privilege to hear from George Snyman this weekend. We are so honoured to work alongside Hands at Work in Africa.  For those interested in supporting Kalende community through Hands at Work, you can use our donation page to select the Zambia Fund and make a $20/month donation for each child you want to support. You can manage your donation anytime using the donation link. Thank you for your support.

Discussion Notes:
October 29, 2017

 

Our Next Steps

Our Next Steps

It’s our third birthday! And we’re excited.

September always feels like a new start. School is back in session, the pause of summer vacation has come to an end, and there is a fresh focus on moving forward with renewed vigour. It’s no different for us at Commons. And so every year we like to start September with a reflection on the central concepts that guide our community. This year however, being on mission is even more important than ever because this year we hope to launch a new parish community in the city. To replicate what has made Commons so unique means we need to remind ourselves about the vision God gave us when we started.

Intellectually honest. Spiritually passionate. Jesus at the centre.

Can’t wait! 

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David

David

Arrogant, selfish, adulterer, murderer, liar, man of God. David is one of the most fascinating characters in all Hebrew scripture partly because of his incredible life story but also because of the fantastic paradox he seems to represent in all of us. We lie, we cheat, we break each other’s hearts, and yet we are called beloved by our creator. What is it about a heart soft enough to return to God that melts his heart and opens his forgiving embrace to us? Perhaps David can help us understand this most gracious mystery.


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Discussion Notes

Anxiety

Anxiety

The Temptations of Christ

The most common Biblical command is “do not be afraid”. Search your Bible and you will find it repeated dozens of times. It began when God told Abraham, the first man of faith, not to be afraid (Genesis 15:1). And actually, the command could be translated, “stop being afraid!” In other words, Abraham was told to stop fearing as a way of life.

And that is the issue, isn’t it. The lingering fears, the constant low-level dread. While momentary fears can come and go, if there is something we are all too familiar with, it’s the anxious life as a way of being. Anxiety is a kind of low-grade fear, the constant gnawing of uncertainty, the constant dread that doesn’t go away. Anxiety can stay with us.

Jesus had something to say about this very practical area of our existence, painting a picture about how anxiety happens, and how the un-anxious life is actually possible. In his famous temptations Jesus faces head-on three of our most powerful latent anxieties: security, esteem, and control. Let’s face them as well.

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