1. Power, down.

Power, down.

Part 1 of the Spotlight series "Power is Passing" 
What's the greatest feat of strength/athleticism you've ever seen in person?

Once you've broken the ice, see what this Spotlight is focused on by clicking the "focus" below.
Let’s talk about the allure of power.
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 have all the power, glory, and strength.
Show us why you come to us as a whisper, a spirit, and a crucified servant.
Welcome Perspective: It's very human to trust in power, but's not very godly.
Worship is meant to rejuvenate. No matter how much you feel you're carrying, how low your battery may be at the moment, or how attractive the idea of "powering down" sounds, God has rest for you that will lift your spirit up.

Begin by listening to this meditation on Isaiah 29. If you'd like to look it up and read along, you can do so in the Illume app or by whatever Bible app you prefer.
Reflect on this by listening to "Power" - a song that reflects on the foolishness of trusting in any power other than God's. (We'll talk as we continue in this series about exactly what "trusting God's power" really means!) For now, relax and worship.
Worship Perspective: Next to that of God, human power is worthless. Free yourself of it.
The image above is known as "Bomb Lover" and made by Banksy. We'll be exploring the idea of changing minds through art a bit in this Learn section.

Begin by reading 1 Corinthians 1:17-28. This section includes a quote from Isaiah 29, which you listened to earlier.

1 Corinthians 1:17-31
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Get into groups of 3. 
  • Define the phrase "the message of the cross" from vs 18. 
  • Plan out a metaphorical representation (an artwork of some kind) that communicates the way power works in this passage. Please include: 
    • Medium
      • What would you use and make? Paint? Sculpture? Mural? Digital? 
    • Location
      • Where would you put your piece? Who is the intended audience?
    • Symbolism
      • What symbols are part of your representation, and why? 
  • Come together with the other groups and share your plan. 
Learn Perspective: God, though powerful, resists dominating and becomes weak with us.
Serve material incoming.
Serve Perspective: When strength’s not the goal, you’re free of the cycle of the power struggle.
Pray for One Another

Identify 3 volunteers who will pray as prompted by numbers 1-3 below. As a group, speak the opening and closing words together. 

Lord, as we gather today, we are reminded of the significance of the cross, where wisdom and strength are found in what the world might see as weakness. We come before you now to pray for one another, seeking your guidance and understanding in our own lives regarding the concept of power.
  1. Ask God to open our hearts to his wisdom that we would view power, force, and dominance more skeptically than we might by nature.
  2. Pray for the courage to let go of the need for worldly power and to embrace vulnerability and humility, just as Jesus did.
  3. Close the prayer by thanking God for his wisdom and the reminder that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. Ask for his continued guidance as you seek to reevaluate and reshape your understanding of power.
In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Farewell Perspective: Power is a lie. It’s one of the devil’s best, but it’s still a lie.
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