4. Momentous


Part 4 of the Spotlight series "Time is Passing" 
If you could witness any event from the past or future for 10 minutes without altering anything, what would it be and why?

Once you've broken the ice, see what this Spotlight is focused on by clicking the "focus" below.
Let’s talk about the chaos and limits of time.
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 chosen to be with all of us, all of the time.
Help us to recognize you
and to live as though you are here.
Thank you for never leaving or forsaking us.

Welcome Perspective: God holds the past and future and joins you in the present.
The love of God is the ultimate source of rest. God shows love that humanity has neither earned nor deserves in many, many ways. He provides things that people need, he holds the cosmos together, he forgives and has mercy, and so much more. Time, too, is a gift of God’s gracious, undeserved love. Let’s reflect on that by reading Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 using the responsive reading below. Choose one person to be the “leader” and the rest of the group will read the responses. 
Leader: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Group: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Leader: “A time to be born and a time to die,” (Ecclesiastes 3:2a)
Group: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21b)
Leader: “A time to plant and a time to uproot,” (Ecclesiastes 3:2b)
Group: “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:7)
Leader: “A time to kill and a time to heal,” (Ecclesiastes 3:3a)
Group: “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
Leader: “A time to tear down and a time to build,” (Ecclesiastes 3:3b)
Group: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1a)
Leader: “A time to weep and a time to laugh,” (Ecclesiastes 3:4a)
Group: “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Luke 6:21b)
Leader: “A time to mourn and a time to dance,” (Ecclesiastes 3:4b)
Group: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11)
Leader: “A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,” (Ecclesiastes 3:5a)
Group: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
Leader: “A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,” (Ecclesiastes 3:5b)
Group: “Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (2 Corinthians 13:12a)
Leader: “A time to search and a time to give up,” (Ecclesiastes 3:6a)
Group: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Leader: “A time to keep and a time to throw away,” (Ecclesiastes 3:6b)
Group: “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
Leader: “A time to tear and a time to mend,” (Ecclesiastes 3:7a)
Group: “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.” (Galatians 6:10a)
Leader: “A time to be silent and a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:7b)
Group: “The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.” (Proverbs 10:14)
Leader: “A time to love and a time to hate,” (Ecclesiastes 3:8a)
Group: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
Leader: “A time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:8b)
Group: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Use the sample agenda below to think about your days, with one goal: to have one surprising thought about God delivering his grace via time. You may stop when such a thought has come - you will not be asked to share what you find. This is simply a way to add value to your everyday. Use the music above as background as you engage in this activity.

Sample Day Agenda for Meditation
Morning Wake-Up (6:30 AM)
Meditation Prompt: As you wake up, consider the gift of a new day. How can the first moments of your day be seen as an expression of God’s grace?

Morning Routine (7:00 AM - 8:00 AM)
Meditation Prompt: Reflect on the grace found in the simplicity of your morning activities. How do these routines offer moments of peace and preparation?

Commute/Travel to Work or School (8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
Meditation Prompt: During your commute, observe the world around you. Where do you see God’s grace in motion in the midst of a bustling world?

Work/School Hours (9:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
Meditation Prompt: As you engage in your work or studies, think about the opportunities to experience and extend grace in your interactions and tasks.

Lunch Break (12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)
Meditation Prompt: During your lunch, ponder the nourishment of food as a daily reminder of God’s sustaining grace. How does this mealtime enrich your day?

Afternoon Work/School (1:00 PM - 5:00 PM)
Meditation Prompt: In the afternoon’s activities, consider the ways in which your skills and efforts are a form of participating in God’s grace.

Evening Commute (5:00 PM - 6:00 PM)
Meditation Prompt: As you return home, reflect on the transition from work to rest. How does this time help you unwind and acknowledge God’s grace in rest?

Dinner Time (6:30 PM)
Meditation Prompt: As you eat, give thanks for the day’s experiences. How does sharing a meal embody the communal aspect of God’s grace?

Evening Relaxation/Family Time (7:30 PM - 9:00 PM)
Meditation Prompt: In these moments of relaxation, how do you experience God’s grace through leisure, family, or personal time?

Nighttime Routine/Bedtime (9:30 PM)
Meditation Prompt: As you end your day, reflect on the moments of grace you experienced. How did these moments shape your understanding of God’s presence in every aspect of time?
Worship Perspective: Time is just another setting for the grace of God.
God wants to help us see time the same way that he sees it. If it’s true that every moment in time is a gift of grace from God, then it will also be true that he sees each moment as valuable. Every one of them has been given to you. 
Learn Perspective: God will never devalue a moment of your existence.
In this Time is Passing series, the Serve portions of the Spotlights have focused on prison ministry. Let's take a minute now to appreciate the volunteers that make it happen by writing a note of appreciation. You can send your note to kent@illume.church, and Kent will forward it on to one of the Prison Ministry volunteers. Here are some samples to help you get started:

Sample Note 1:
I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude for your work in prison ministry. Your commitment to serving those often forgotten by society is a true embodiment of Christ’s love and compassion. Your efforts are not only changing lives but also inspiring others to spread kindness and hope. Thank you for being a beacon of light in the darkness.

Sample Note 2:
Thank you for your dedication to the prison ministry. Your willingness to invest time and care into the lives of the incarcerated is a powerful testament to the grace and mercy of God. Your work is a reminder to us all of the transformative power of love and forgiveness. Your impact is immeasurable, and I am deeply grateful for your service.

Sample Note 3:
Your work in prison ministry is a true act of faith and love. In a world where it’s easy to judge and turn away, you’ve chosen to extend a hand of support and understanding. Your actions reflect the heart of the Gospel – showing love and compassion to all. Thank you for your inspiring service and for reminding us of the power of presence and empathy.

Sample Note 4:
I am writing to express my admiration and appreciation for your dedication to prison ministry. Your efforts in bringing hope, spiritual guidance, and a sense of community to those incarcerated are truly commendable. You embody the spirit of selfless service, and your impact echoes not just in the lives you touch directly, but throughout the community. Thank you for your unwavering commitment.

Sample Note 5:
Thank you for the time, energy, and love you pour into prison ministry. Your work goes beyond just a deed; it’s a living example of God’s unconditional love in action. The way you value and respect the humanity of each individual is deeply moving and incredibly impactful. Your service is a powerful force of good, and I am grateful for your inspiring presence in this ministry.
Serve Perspective: To join with what God is doing is the truest good deed.
Prayer Pair-Up Activity
Connect and support each other through the power of prayer. We are going to spend some time in prayer, sharing our needs and praying for one another. Take this as an opportunity to get to know and to encourage one another.
  • Please pair up with someone in the group. If there’s an odd number, form a group of three. Consider pairing with someone you don’t know well.
  • Take turns sharing a prayer request with your partner. This could be anything on your heart. Remember, what is shared here is confidential and is to be treated with respect and care.
  • Pray for each other’s requests. You can pray aloud or silently, whichever you’re comfortable with.
  • After praying, take a moment to thank your partner for sharing and praying with you.
  • Regroup as a larger team for a closing prayer led by the facilitator.
  • Consider following up with your prayer partner in the coming days to offer continued support and encouragement.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. | Galatians 6:2

Prayer Requests

Each part of this series will close with a brief reflection on Jesus’ epic promise, given as he ascended into heaven. For today, reflect for a moment on the unchangability of this promise.
Farewell Perspective: God’s omnipresence is an invitation to yours.

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