4. Expectation? Opportunity.

Expectation Opportunity

Part 4 of the Spotlight series "Gender is Passing" 
Have you ever received a gift that you wanted to appreciate but had no idea what you were going to do with it? 

Once you've broken the ice, see what this Spotlight is focused on by clicking the "focus" below.
Let’s talk about "the image of God."
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!)
Hopefully that makes enough sense to get you started.

Pray this prayer to get into it:
You are truly unique, perfect in love, harmony, goodness, and sharing.
Humanity was made in your image, and sin is distorting it.
Help us to seek to reclaim and enjoy it with mercy, hope, and persistence.

Let's pause and breathe for a moment. No matter what topic, no matter what day, no matter what: God is holding you. Before we talk about it or spring into action on it, consider how he holds you when it comes to the opportunity gender affords us. 
It's unfortunate but true that our experience of the connection, love, and unity that the gift of gender offers to us is turned upside down by the corrupted, selfish reality of life in a sinful world. Read this story of a time Jesus reflected on this with some of his adversaries and some of his disciples:
Seeing gender and marriage through this lens is, hopefully, motivating. This motivating pull, that draws us together, is what is being sung about in the song Gravity of Love below. Close the worship section with a reflection on this song. 
The opportunity that this perspective provides goes all the way back to what God was doing by giving humanity his image. The presentation below is going to examine this in view of Christ being the image of God - something that shows us exactly what the image is for. 
Reclaiming the Conversation

We have looked at the work of the Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender so far in this series. You should know that they have a ton of good resources. For today, though, we will take a look at a resource from another organization that is a Christian voice in this conversation: Reclamation.
Click the button below and read just the introduction (through “human from earth”) of one of Reclamations excellent user stories.
Once you read, reflect on this question: How does the story’s author help us see gender as a connection opportunity rather than a rejection point?
Pray for One Another

Sin’s impact on gender causes a lot of tension. Share with the group what about it is currently causing tension for you, and then pray for one another. This is also a good time to bring up any prayer requests you might have. 
Before sharing any extra questions you might want to have Kent reflect on, join with this video of the song Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow to close the discussion with an attitude of praise toward the God who is always good. 


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