The Prisons We Build Ourselves: Sunday Night @ The LOFT 1.10.16

We're back on Sunday nights...kind of

Last night was our first night back with Sunday Night @ The LOFT for 2016 but our calendar is looking a little crazy this winter. Check out what's coming up the next couple of weeks:

January 17: MLK Weekend, UNCG Basketball Game vs. VMI, No Sunday Night @ The LOFT
January 24: Winter Retreat, No Sunday Night @ The LOFT
January 31: Normal Sunday Night @ The LOFT Schedule
February 7: Big Game Party in the LOFT
February 14: Valentine's Day, No Sunday Night @ The LOFT
February 21: Destination Unknown
February 28: Normal Sunday Night @ The LOFT Schedule

There is a lot going on this winter which will impact our Sunday night schedule, but it should be full of good stuff.

This is What We Did

This is What We Talked About

Our new series on Sunday nights is built around award-winning short films

Our new series on Sunday nights is built around award-winning short films

This winter we're doing a series based around award-winning short films. Each week we will watch a different short film and then talk about a theological principle related to the movie. Of course movies are more fun with popcorn, candy, and something to drink, so each week we will have some small refreshments to enjoy during the movie with a "candy of the week." Do you have a favorite movie theater candy? Email us to put in your request.

This Week's Film & Discussion

This Sunday we watched the short film Room 8. You can check out the film here. In it a prisoner finds out his cell is not quite what it seems, and after failing to listen to some wise advice, finds himself further imprisoned.

We talked about how our own actions can sometimes imprison us. Even when we know what we ought to do we struggle to do the right thing, which is what Paul writes about in Romans 7:15-25:

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[b]a slave to the law of sin.

Paul comes to the conclusion that left to his own decisions, his own knowledge, his own devices, he will fail, and so do we. We all fall short of perfection, we all sin, and we are all in need of someone who will rescue us, just like Paul asks for in verse 24. The answer, of course, is Jesus, the divine become flesh who faced trials and temptations just like us and he promises to continue to be with us through the Holy Spirit.

We can be assured of this by what the psalmist wrote in Psalm 139:1-14a

1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made

Questions for Conversation

  • When have you ever felt trapped or imprisoned by your decisions?
  • How do you think Jesus sets us free from our prisons?
  • What would it look like to rely on Jesus to help you break the cycle of sin?
  • What is one way you can draw closer to Jesus this week in order to hear his guidance?