“My addictions are my comfort zones and, if I leave them, well, I’m scared I won’t know how to handle myself.”
You might not do cocaine or meth, but, on some level, we can all certainly relate to this DM sent to the Light Bearers Instagram. We all have our own addictions: unhealthy relationships, harmful ways of coping, false personas that we can’t let go of, or dysfunctional ways of relating to reality—the list goes on. Like the Israelites of old, we want to be free, but we live as slaves to our own emotions, insecurities, and selfishness. However, “God heard [Israel’s] groaning,” and He hears your cries too (Exodus 2:24).
The good news is that He has already made your freedom a reality! The bad news is that freedom is scary. That’s why so many of us self-sabotage when we’re on the brink of obtaining it. Beyond our captivity, though, is a life full of meaning, joy, fulfillment, and worship that we couldn’t otherwise experience. It’s the land of milk and honey and He wants to take us there.
That’s why, this July 5-9, we’re going to explore the book of Exodus at our annual Light Bearers convocation in Collegedale, Tennessee. Convocation is a free, five-day Bible study experience in which we come together as a community to dive into Scripture.
Exodus is an excellent book to read if you want to understand the raw gospel.
David Asscherick, one of Light Bearers’ speakers, believes that reading Exodus is key for every disciple of Jesus. Why? Because “the biblical narrative is a narrative of ongoing exoduses, anticipating the great Exodus. We cannot really begin to accurately understand the story of Scripture apart from the book and larger motif of Exodus.”
Furthermore, Exodus is full of Jesus and the gospel! As Ty Gibson, another Light Bearers’ speaker, put it, “Exodus is the story of the universal human condition and points to Jesus, and all the principles of liberty that He contains, as the one true Liberator.” In other words, Exodus is an excellent book to read if you want to understand the raw gospel.
Our team has been working feverishly to ensure that this is an experience of spiritual revival for all who attend. Beginning on Tuesday evening, July 5, following worship music, Ty will set the stage by painting a picture of Pharaoh’s oppression of Israel. He’ll also present a clear definition of sin and what it means to need a Deliverer. Each night, we’ll continue to move through Exodus with two messages presented, interspersed with worship music. We’ll dive into the old stories and discover new freedom together.
Before and after each night’s program, attendees are invited to participate in brief periods of prayer and discussion in our prayer room, correspondingly called First Light and Afterglow. These sessions will be led by Angelo Grasso, Light Bearers’ spiritual care director. Angelo explained the purpose of First Light and Afterglow this way:
First Light and Afterglow are all about community, facing in toward each other and acknowledging that we are all on this Exodus journey together. We may have different experiences and come from different backgrounds, but when we gather in humility and surrender, we are reminded that we are united by the sacrifice of our Passover Lamb. We are acknowledging that the Exodus story is our story. Because Exodus is about freedom, I’m excited to witness people get free!
The week culminates on Sabbath with two messages in the morning, a Q&A panel in the afternoon, and two final messages in the evening.
While we are excited to share each of these Bible-saturated messages with you, convocation isn’t simply a week of sermons, it’s also about worship in community, which has a unique power to edify spiritually. Ty put it this way:
Fellowship around God’s Word has a compounding effect for spiritual growth. It brings you into contact with people who are longing for the same kinds of things you are longing for, people who are passionate about the same kinds of things you are passionate about, and people who are seeking to leverage their influence for Christ as you are. Therefore, coming together as a body of believers has the social power to reinforce and expand your spiritual experience.
Along with Ty Gibson and David Asscherick, this year’s line-up of speakers includes Jeffrey Rosario and Silvia Bacchiocchi.
Silvia is currently pursuing a PhD in systematic theology at Andrews University on the subject of spirituality. She is also writing a book based on her Master of Arts thesis, tentatively titled Exodus: A Love Story. She and her husband, Gianluca, have three children: Isabella, Gianna, and Enzo.
Silvia and Jeffrey Rosario represented the enthusiasm of our preaching team in their reflections on the relevance of Exodus for followers of Jesus today:
“We will be covering the most foundational book in Scripture. Exodus reveals God’s special name, special deliverance, special guidance, special covenant, special worship, special mercy, and special self-revelation! This book reveals the gracious husband heart of Jesus and how deeply He desires to dwell with each of us in a glorious sanctuary union.” – Silvia
If you’re spiritually apathetic, think you’ve got everything together, or you’re restless for something new, you need Exodus. We all do, because we were all made for freedom.
“Exodus offers readers a sobering and authentic portrait of the real messiness of human experience. There is human suffering in Exodus––lots of it. The author is brutally honest about that. There’s the apparent silence of God. As readers, we often feel like we don’t have a clue what’s happening in our lives, and yet God is present in Exodus, revealing the upheaval going on in His own heart. Somehow, that brings light into our darkness.” – Jeffrey
What it comes down to is this: If you’re struggling to overcome something, you need Exodus. If you feel stuck in your job or marriage, you need Exodus. If you’re scared of the future, you need Exodus. If you’re spiritually apathetic, think you’ve got everything together, or you’re restless for something new, you need Exodus. We all do, because we were all made for freedom.
We want to discover this freedom with you this July 5-9 at The Commons in Collegedale, Tennessee. You can also join us online. Registration is free, whether you are planning to attend in person or online, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
Though leaving behind what’s familiar and moving into the unknown is scary, we find courage when we realize that, as David Asscherick put it, “God is calling His people out of something into something better. There are things God wants to call me out of, ways of thinking, ways of relating to other people, ways of relating to reality, into something better—a more beautiful, fuller way of being a human being.”
God wants to bring you into something better. Are you ready?
Allie is a 2012 ARISE graduate and on-staff writer and communications assistant for Light Bearers. She is fascinated by the intersection of faith and the creative process and enjoys poetry. When she’s not watching a good movie with her friends, she enjoys narrating life with mediocre accents.