In ancient times, the people of God considered it vital to their spiritual well-being to spend time in one another’s presence before the Lord. They saw themselves as many individuals that together composed one corporate individual, many bodies that made up one body. So they had annual events of corporate worship they called “holy convocations.”
The book of Hebrews encourages New Testament believers to continue the ancient practice of gathering together:
“Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
This is one of many New Testament passages that employ the term, “one another.” The Bible presupposes that we are all connected and interdependent. In our extremely individualistic culture, we’ve lost some of that sense of corporate oneness and shared identity. But it is not an exaggeration to say that it is impossible to be a healthy follower of Jesus in isolation from others. I cannot, for example, shut myself away in my house studying the Bible and watching Christian television, and really be a Christian. Why? Because being a follower of Jesus is, by definition, a relational identity. It involves a relationship with God by means of relationships with others.
Each year we host a gathering we call the Light Bearers Convocation. Four factors define the event:
• a beautifully manicured piece of property situated along a river
• fellowship with people from various locations and backgrounds who love Jesus and want to be a part of His good-news revolution in the world
…it is not an exaggeration to say that it is impossible to be a healthy follower of Jesus in isolation from others.
• meetings and activities for children and youth designed to direct their minds and hearts to Christ
• adult meetings that dig deep into Scripture, but in an accessible manner, presented by on-fire preachers who have done their homework and are filled with passion to magnify the love of God from every possible angle
The Light Bearers Convocation is basically a Bible-study vacation in a restful environment.
This year we will dive into the first book of the Bible. As you may know, Genesis means beginning. And that’s what the book is all about—the beginning of the world as God made the world to be, the beginning of time as we know it with our seven-day cycle, the beginning of marriage and the family unit, the beginning of human sin and misery, the beginning of God’s plan to set things right for the fallen race, the beginning of God’s covenant enterprise in the world, to be enacted in history through a covenant people that would bring forth a Savior who would give the world a whole new beginning.
…we humans are not mere evolutionary animals whose existence is void of meaning…
Genesis opens with the truly arresting and provocative declaration, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And with that, the story launches on a distinctly personal note, informing the reader that we humans are not mere evolutionary animals whose existence is void of meaning, but beings that hail from the creative desire of a personal God.
Woven through a series of intersecting stories, crucial themes are initiated in Genesis that go on to weave the entire biblical narrative, winding forward to its close with the book of Revelation. To understand Genesis is, in fact, to understand the entire Bible in microcosm, and without Genesis nothing that follows in the story would make any coherent sense. Genesis takes us back to the beginning so we can understand the present and the future from the vantage point of the beginning. Everything that happened then is impacting us now and will impact us forevermore.
Please join us July 2-6 for the 2019 Light Bearers Convocation as we explore the book of Genesis.
Ty is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and pastor of Storyline Adventist Church. A passionate communicator with a message that opens minds and moves hearts, Ty teaches on a variety of topics, emphasizing God’s unfailing love as the central theme of the Bible. Ty and his wife Sue have three adult children and two grandsons.