Dear Gather Family and Friends,
This week’s Exodus study features a drumbeat as the Israelites are repeatedly instructed to keep the memory of their struggle as a “sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead so that you will often discuss the Lord’s Instruction, for the Lord brought you out of Egypt with great power” (Ex. 13:9). Never lose touch with your past; keep it top of mind, God tells the soon-to-be-liberated Israelites. It is the story that will shape their future as nation, as a faith community, and ultimately become the ground on which our own Christian faith is built.
Israel’s liberation amounts to more than crossing a reedy sea with miraculous waterwalls on both sides. The story of a humiliated, enslaved people proving so important to God proves how faithfully—and predictably—our God stands with the oppressed, marginalized, and outcast. This has been true again and again. A sign on your hand, a reminder on your forehead. Don’t forget it. It will keep you moving.
This message is especially timely, coming between last Saturday’s Juneteenth holiday and this weekend’s 52nd anniversary of Stonewall. Both represent a parting of waters to open the way toward greater equality and justice. But Exodus reminds us the past must never become a fading history lesson. It’s vital to keep our struggles alive in memory, constantly reminding ourselves that freedom is a moving target. Movements push us forward, propelled by injustices and atrocities of the past.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Dr. King famously said, paraphrasing the 19th-century abolitionist preacher Theodore Parker. That we still draw strength from this truth tells us how long and arduous the quest for freedom really is. If we are wise, we will make room for remembering to keep us headed in the right direction. Gratefully, two occasions for remembering happen this week at Gather.
Join us tonight at 7:30pm CDT for the next chapter in our study series, “Exodus: The Greatest Coming Out Story Ever Told”.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 824 2401 2625
Or dial 1-312-626-6799 using the same meeting ID.
Then on this coming Sunday at 5pm CDT, make sure you’re with us for our annual Pride service. Our own Janice Beard will bring a dynamic message and the music will celebrate the genius of Stevie Wonder. You’ll find us via our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCldChQ-w8vS1vkbSDyyxLOQ.
We’re thrilled to have these opportunities to be together and hope you’ll take part in them!
In freedom, with love,
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.