M-Note 6.13.2021

As kids, most of us played some version of hide-and-seek. Some of you were good at hiding, always trying to find a creative place where no one would think of looking. At first, it can be kind of fun when the “seeker” is looking all over the place and cannot seem to find you. But, did you ever hide so well that eventually it was no longer fun. Maybe you were in an awkward position and you would start to get sore. Maybe you couldn’t breathe too well or see anything because you were in the dark. Sometimes you could hear the other kids all being found, getting together, and talking. Pretty soon, hiding was like work, and you had to decide how long to stay in place!
I was thinking about this because, in life, some of us are good at hiding. I don’t mean literally but emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. We hide what we’ve been through, we hide mistakes we’ve made, we hide what we struggle with, or the challenges in our life. We hide bad habits, fears, setbacks, or failures. We do this for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes we hide because we are embarrassed or ashamed. Sometimes we are scared of ridicule or rejection. Sometimes we don’t want to give people a reason to doubt or lose trust in us. Some of us are just highly invested in an image that we do not want to tarnish. Whatever the reason, we hide. But eventually, hiding gets hard.

Just like in the game, after a while hiding can feel awkward. It can make it hard to breathe or see. It can keep us from more authentic relationships with others. Sometimes hiding can keep us from becoming who we are intended to be. When we feel these kinds of things, we are faced with a decision: keep on hiding no matter the consequence or finally stop and let others see us.

This weekend, I am beginning a series REAL: The Power of Vulnerability. That word is popular right now because of authors, bloggers, and teachers like Brené Brown. It shows up in leadership training and emotional intelligence workshops. It is often named as something we want to see in others, but we struggle to practice it ourselves. But, long before its modern day popularity, vulnerability was a scriptural idea, one that Paul advocates as a pathway to power and strength. In this series, I am going to talk about how we can find strength through vulnerability with God, with others, and with ourselves.
I bet all of you know someone in your life that needs to hear this series. I urge you to take a second right now and text, call, email, or share and invite that person to join you. It doesn’t matter where they live, you can join us in person or online. This invitation could be the catalyst for someone to stop hiding and take a step towards more authentic and faithful living.
It has been great to finally get to worship fully in person and online. No matter how you participate, I hope to see you in church!

P.S. This is just a reminder that we are no longer requiring registration for in-person worship, and each site is offering full kids ministry from age six weeks - 5th grade. Also don’t forget that this Tuesday is our Commit service. If you have been considering membership at The Gathering or want to join our church, this is the night for you. Join me as I talk about what it means to be a member. There will be an opportunity during the worship to join our church. Also, if you have never been baptized or want to renew and remember your baptism, there will be a chance to do so. If you have any questions, please email me. You can find all the details and register here.

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