Focus 1 (of 5)-Collectible

Consider this ice breaker as you gather for the Spotlight.
Do you own anything that would be considered a collector's item?
Or a whole collection of something? 

Focus 1 | Collectible

Thinking in terms of “the individual” is good, but it can also be something we hide behind.
Now that you've answered the Icebreaker question, let's think about a different question - this one about Pokémon cards.

Listen to this audio clip when you’re ready to begin today’s Spotlight.
(And welcome, by the way! It’s great that you’re here!)
See what this Spotlight—and series—is focused on.
Tap on the words "Focus 1" in the image below to read this Spotlight's summary.
Have you ever been in a situation in which someone showed you something they felt was very valuable? Did you notice how...
  • when a person holds something they value, they are often physically affected?
  • when a person talks about something they value, they think more about their words?
  • when a person shares something they value, the sharing feels personal? 

Interestingly, this happens with items that are both objectively valuable and with items that hold only sentimental value. Not everything that is collected would be considered collectible to the general public. Some things are special to one person, and that’s OK. In those cases, the collectibility is less about rarity & popularity and more about the effort put into making, obtaining, using, or restoring whatever it is that is (subjectively) valuable.

All that being said, whatever it is and however its value is derived, people want what they consider valuable. In fact, they’ll go pretty far to make sure that what they seek is theirs.

Today, as we talk about the goodness of being collectible, we are starting a series that's truly about the goodness and usefulness of what is often called "collected guilt." As such, enjoy this one - it's about you being special - but get ready to think seriously about why you're also uniquely positioned to be considered guilty. (And, of course, ominous as that sounds, we promise it's going to be alright! In fact, being honest about the guilt you carry is a healing practice where Jesus is involved.) 
Consider what makes you collectible in the eyes of God.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1 Peter 1:18–19

This isn’t to say that you’re an “object” or a “prize” to God. You’re a person, and God values you. He proved that you’re not something to be owned and that you’re valuable by…
  1. carefully creating you as a unique person,
  2. calling you into roles and responsibilities in life that matter, 
  3. and restoring you after you’d fallen
…all at great cost to him.

Read the following together in your Spotlight Community. If what was just said above is true, then: 
Celebrate that God has created you.

Have volunteers read each of these sections from Psalm 139, one of the most beautiful reflections in all of the Bible about it means that God has created you:

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Psalm 139:1–3

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:13–16

Use this video to meditate on the goodness in those words.
List two specific ways you could encourage those around you who feel like the neglected scarf in view of this video and Psalm 139.
And know that God restores you.
If you’re doing this Spotlight with a group, read the Psalm verse by verse, alphabetically by the first letter of your first names.

1 You, Lord, showed favor to your land;
    you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2 You forgave the iniquity of your people
    and covered all their sins.
3 You set aside all your wrath
    and turned from your fierce anger.

4 Restore us again, God our Savior,
    and put away your displeasure toward us.
5 Will you be angry with us forever?
    Will you prolong your anger through all generations?
6 Will you not revive us again,
    that your people may rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, Lord,
    and grant us your salvation.

8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
    he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
    but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
    that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
    righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
    and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
    and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
    and prepares the way for his steps.
Psalm 85
Get to know your collectible self.
Start by reading these verses from 1 Corinthians 12:
Take seriously that God has called you.
Not only has God made you a unique person, but he has also called you into unique and personal roles. (In theology, these are called vocations.)

Take about five minutes to think about the roles God has given you…
  1. Grab a piece of paper or a note-taking app.
  2. Rate the roles listed below by how well you feel you’re fulfilling them currently. You can do this in one of two ways: 
    • Rearrange the list so that what you think is going best is at the top and what you think is going worst is at the bottom. 
    • Rate your current level of fulfillment on a scale of 1–10 (10 being the best).

Obviously, some things on the list won’t apply to you. That’s OK. If you’d like some thinking music, hit play on the audio player below. (The track is also your time-keeping device. If you don’t want to have background music, simply set a timer for 3 minutes 30 seconds.)

Learn who you are from a fellow Spotlighter.
If you’re doing this Spotlight in a group, pair up. Set a timer for seven minutes. During that time, talk with your partner about…
  • what you perceive your partner’s best gifts to be.
  • roles/vocations you see as part of your partner’s life.
  • how they uniquely contribute to your group.
  • compare aspects of your personal ethnographies that are different/the same.

The idea of calling something "yours" is intrinsic to this "On Letting Guilt Collect" series. It's not hard to draw a line from calling something "yours" to considering yourself "native." As such, the non-profit Illume has selected to support during the series is connected to the indigenous tribes of the Seattle area.
Therefore, let us introduce you to the nonprofit for this series, the Chief Seattle Club.

The Chief Seattle Club calls itself “a sacred space to nurture, affirm, and renew the spirit of urban Native Peoples.”

Have a volunteer read this introduction to the Club from their website:

"Chief Seattle Club is a 501(c)(3) registered organization dedicated to physically and spiritually supporting American Indian and Alaska Native people. At our Day Center in the Pioneer Square district of downtown Seattle, we provide food, primary health care, housing assistance, legal services, a Native art job training program, and opportunities for members to engage in cultural community-building.

We are a housing and human service agency that provides basic needs for our members, many of whom are experiencing homelessness. Native people in urban areas face unique challenges, and Chief Seattle Club embraces the Indigenous cultures, languages, and traditions of our members as the primary method for healing and transformation."

If you're on social media, we'd encourage you to follow the Chief Seattle Club on whatever services you use. You can even look them up now as you watch this video created in 2023 to showcase their newest facilities. 
Feel free to submit a prayer request by filling out the form below.

Prayer Requests

Pray through your requests—together—as a group.
After submitting your requests in the above form, take some time to share with your group whatever requests the group might have for this week.
Say a prayer for your vocations.

Use one of the three prayers below, all of which come from an old prayerbook called the “Lutheran Book of Prayer,” to guide your own prayer as you reflect on what you’re doing well, where you have room to improve, and the fact that God loves you unconditionally because of Jesus, not because you are so good at your vocations.

Confess your faith with unique Christians from around the world.

You are unique, and your uniqueness connects you with billions of other God-created/vocated/restored people. Your faith is unique, and yet it is shared by millions of Christians around the world. Celebrate this by speaking the words of a portion of the Apostles Creed (the oldest statement of faith in Christianity) along with the voices of Christians from around the world.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Sing along with (or listen to) this song to close out this Spotlight.
Feel free to sing along or simply listen. Do what makes you comfortable—but do whatever helps you focus on the song's meaning best.
Let's wrap things up by taking a look at what's Current at Illume.

Tap on the buttons in the frame below to see what’s currently happening at Illume—information on everything from current and upcoming online content to live events and opportunities to serve in the community can all be found here.                          

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