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Jake Hall

A Winding Walk & A Ponderous Path

A Winding Walk & A Ponderous Path

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by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter February 21, 2019

The season after Epiphany invited us to see the world with adventurous and amateur eyes, both. During these weeks we have been spiritually challenged by the biblical stories to experience the ordinary world in a new way. Wise Men taught us to look for stars, signs, and symbols to guide our journey. Jesus modeled what happens we cast our life in line with everybody else and wander into the wilderness to find our way. These texts have encouraged us to follow Jesus through the ordinariness of our lives toward something new.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the way:

1. Spiritually, we must confess that our senses do not provide us with perfect insight into what is happening around us.

We see what we expect to see in the world. This is especially true in the parts of our life with which we are most familiar. Your neighborhood and your commute to work are experienced by rote. Our routines are so repetitive that their interpretation is nearly automatic. Oddly enough, the same is true for things wildly unfamiliar to us. It is almost impossible for us to really see the world from someone else perspective without taking a walk with them to see what they see.

2. Take notice of the way you notice the world around you and question what you see.

Through these texts, we have learned that our ability to narrate and navigate our lives based on our senses must be continuously questioned and redeemed. I know the word itself, ‘epiphany,’ makes it seem like it is something that happens to you. What we have learned is that we must be intentional in the way that we seek to see the world. This is how we begin to see God in the world, and it is how we see the world from God’s perspective. This intentionality makes it possible to see our neighbor and learn about life from their perspective. Ask someone else to take a walk with you and tell you about their experience and this city from their perspective.

3. Take a step of faith based on your new insight

Once you have begun to pay attention to your life and have some sense of where God might be leading you, then it is time to start the perilous journey of following God with other people. Invest your best gifts on this new journey with God. I don’t know where God is calling you in your life, but I know this: if you listen to God, if you obediently follow, if you offer your gifts for Christ sake, then you too will have an adventure in faith to share.

Write a new list

Write a new list

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter December 20, 2018

We need new lists.

No, not additional lists. Lists abound in the Christmas season. "To do" lists describe the many things that must happen at work in order to make it to your kids Christmas play on time. "To purchase" lists enumerate just how many presents to buy and for whom. Grocery lists curate how many Christmas hams to purchase and help organize our cupboards and counters when company comes over for Christmas. Even Santa's list names who is naughty and who is nice. We need a new list. Something that names what happens next!

Second Week of Advent

Second Week of Advent

 Deacons

Deacons

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter November 8, 2018

This Sunday we will call seven people from the pews of Highland Hills to serve as deacons for a three-year term. The role of deacon arose in the first days of the early church as that community expanded the need for more servants arose so that all people could be served. Out of the many followers, seven were called.

Tikkun Olam and Blessings for the End of the World

Tikkun Olam and Blessings for the End of the World

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter November 1, 2018

Last week a gunman entered the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He shouted hateful rhetoric and killed worshipers in a 20-minute attack.

The world seems broken beyond repair. It’s enough to make you want to despair and disengage and not even try. The regularity of events like this desensitize us to the horror and seems to normalize their occurrence.

Everyday Costumes

Everyday Costumes

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 25, 2018

Leaves are falling, and the temperature is finally dropping, at least to "tolerable." In this season for fall festivals, carnivals, costumes, and capes, there are serious decisions to be made: what costume will I wear? Be glad we are in Georgia... Historically some towns have enacted Halloween laws. In Alabama, you might get cited for dressing in costume as a member of the clergy... So, no priest, nun, rabbi, or Jake costumes if you are visiting relatives in the Yellowhammer State.

On the Table Was No Joke

On the Table Was No Joke

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 11, 2018

A pastor, a rabbi, an Imam, a teacher, an inmate, an educator, a publisher, a CEO and a college student walk into a house of worship.That isn't the beginning of joke, but a report from this week's "On the Table" event. Highland Hills opened our Great Room to have a conversations that matters. Tables all around Macon gathered fellow citizens to a common table.

Hey Neighbor! Pull up a Chair

Hey Neighbor! Pull up a Chair

by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter October 11, 2018

On Wednesday, October 17, our church family will participate in a community-wide gathering of friends and strangers around the tables in our Great Room. No, it won't be like our typical family night supper: you won't be at your typical table, you won't be sitting with your typical friends, you might have to introduce yourself to strangers. It will be different. Yet, at the same time, our "On the Table" partnership event will be all too typical of the kind of table fellowship Jesus offered to all people.