Heard at Café: 02/11/2020

Tonight was Café Unplugged! This meant that everything was done without electricity, from the lights to the music to the desserts. This Café is done once a year (and it's my favorite Café), and it's meant to help us realize the things that we take for granted by doing without the normal conveniences that we're accustomed to.

Tonight's passage came from Luke 4:
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,    because he has anointed me    to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners    and recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free,19     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
The passage that Jesus reads from the scroll here comes from a passage in Isaiah, prophesying about what's to come. Jesus, when reading this passage, seems to be saying that these things -- freedom for prisoners and sight for the blind -- are happening right now. He says that this is what happens when light is brought to the world.

Tonight, we also got to hear from four members of CCF who are actively bringing light to the world around us: Katie Carlson, Sam Derry, Kori Alejandro, and Nia Rich.

Katie spoke of simple obedience: this idea of just saying yes to opportunities. Katie has had the chance to bring light to several different countries, and has realized how she has purpose in these areas even when she doesn't see it at first. Through these opportunities, Katie has seen how God can use our yes for a greater purpose.

Sam spoke of his experience with the MLK service trip last year, and how that has influenced his decision to serve in Sierra Leone this summer. He explained that all of the things that we've been given, like time and money, aren't really ours to begin with. To Sam, serving also means trusting God, and he shared Proverbs 3:5-6 with us:

Trust in the Lord with all your heartand lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.

Kori shared her summer experience in Peru, and how she has had multiple opportunities just this summer to serve God. Kori explained how serving meant helping the community around her and getting to be a part of something bigger than what she sees.

Nia told us about how passions can be transformed by God's intervention. Nia initially thought that service was just something that looked good on paper. She soon realized, though, that she had the opportunity to serve the next generation. Nia is involved with City of Refuge, where she tutors kids every week. She explained that it's her duty to be a role model to these kids, and how showing others love was a direct result of getting to experience God's love herself. Nia also shared Proverbs 11:25:
A generous person will prosper;whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
God sees the darkness in this world, but he offers us hope and light. He tells us to be reflectors of this light and bring heaven to earth. Through the stories that we heard tonight, we are presented with this challenge: to ask ourselves what we are doing to bring the light to our world.

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