At the beginning of September, we embarked on a journey into exciting and dangerous waters: the book of Revelation. This fall’s series, “The Throne, The Dragon, and The Lamb,” marks the third attempt to study this book in worship at Jacob’s Well. Twice before we planned to study John’s apocalypse, but in each instance the timing was not right. No longer! We have plunged head first into these waters and I think we’re off to a great start!
It seems almost every person I talk to has some kind of relationship to this strange and difficult book of the New Testament. In almost every case, whatever that relationship may be it leads to the same outcome: avoidance. This is a tragic response because at the heart of the book of Revelation is a picture of reality that is central to every follower of Jesus Christ: God being worshiped upon the throne. What is challenging is how that vision works out in our daily lives. Guess what? That is the very same question John’s first century readers were struggling with as well. The world they lived in, like our own, dulled their senses to the reality of God’s presence and power in their lives. For John, as for me, that is something that must be challenged. (Read more with resources below)
Fall Institutes – Thursdays in October
Sign up now
Register now for one of our classes that will run through the month of October. Institutes are formation classes in which we explore what it means to form, live, and extend the life of Christ. They will be on the first four Thursdays of October from 6:30-8pm. Here’s a sampling of courses that will be offered: Pursuing Biblical Wisdom, Jesus & Film, Art workshops, and several others! Check out the offerings and register by clicking HERE.
Fall Youth Retreat – 10.4 – 10.6
Join us for the Fall Retreat! This trip is for both middle school and high school students. We will meet at Jacob’s Well at 4:30pm on Friday, October 4 and return at 4:30pm on Sunday, October 6. Cost is $30 for the weekend; please bring your payment in cash the day of the retreat.
We will be traveling to Mann Ranch, a family-owned property in SE Kansas near Eureka. We’ll spend time playing games, swimming, fishing, riding ATVs and more! Stay tuned for the packing list and detailed retreat schedule as we get closer to the trip! But for now…SIGN UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Don’t delay, please!!
Our partner in Pokot in the Asilong province, Julius Sawe, is featured in this television news story in Kenya. Although the title sounds like it might be a negative story, it’s really a very positive piece. The Kenyan government is debating whether to provide laptops to preschool children. Here’s a link to the video.
KC Royals – Friday 9.20
Limited tickets left
TODAY is the LAST day to sign up for the Men’s outing to the Royals vs. Texas Rangers game on Friday, September 20 at 7:10pm.
Details on carpooling, etc. will be sent out next week.
Serve Opportunity #1 – Serving Kids Community in the Loft and Grade School
Wanna go for a test drive? Kids Community is looking for 15 servants who’d come along for a ride in experiencing God with our 3-10 year-olds this year. There are several options for serving, such as one Sunday a month or one month on/two months off. Contact Mimi Keel.
Serve Opportunity #2 – Audio Team
Media – Calling all music lovers with attention to detail. We are looking to add new folks to our audio team. If you have a background in audio, or are interested in learning live sound and basic recording, please contact Bill Pollock for more info.
Second Saturday 9.14 – Serve Day at JW
Well it seems like this is going to be a beautiful Second Saturday at Jacob’s Well — partly cloudy and 80°. We will gather at 9am and plan to work on grounds projects around our building until 1pm.
(The Throne, The Dragon, and The Lamb, cont.)
I like what Eugene Peterson has to say along those lines related to the book of Revelation: “The power to wake us up is the most obvious use of the Revelation. It is also very often overlooked. Sometimes the obvious is the hardest thing of all to see. So while others have written, sometimes exceedingly well, on the obscurities of this book, I have set myself the task of not overlooking the obvious…My primary question before the text has not been, ‘What does this mean?’ but ‘How does this work in the community of believers in which I am a pastor?’…this book does not primarily call for decipherment, as if it were written in code, but that it evokes wonder…”
Peterson’s desire reflects my own: that Jacob’s Well would be stirred by John’s vision, and in that stirring, be inspired and challenged to discover, acknowledge, and participate in the myriad ways, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah…” (Revelation 11:5).
Are you interested in studying along as we move through our series? Here are a few books that you might consider reading on your own or with others.
The Lost Letters of Pergamum, Bruce W. Longenecker. What would it have been like to live late in the first century? This “historical novel” takes the content of the New Testament and applies it creatively in a fictional, yet real, context. Using the format of a collection of letters, it chronicles the challenges of one first century community struggling to be faithful to God in a hostile world.
The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis. This classic by Lewis is not a reflection or study of the book of Revelation. It is an imaginative journey onto the shores of heaven with a guide who relates his experiences and conversations as he contemplates taking a journey into the “high country.” This is one of my favorite books. I read it yearly.
Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright. Eschatology is the theology discipline that studies “last things,” from the Greek words, “eschaton” meaning “next” or “last” and “Logos” meaning “word” or “study.” New Testament scholar and pastor Tom Wright has written a tremendously helpful and creative book exploring what the New Testament has to say about final realities.