In recent months a number of thoughts have been bouncing around in my mind. But even deeper, my heart. Life has been going on with all it’s busyness. Demands for work projects, recovery pain from latest marathon, family activities – just like everyone, I am busy. But like an underground spring, there have been thoughts of what could be. What I hope for. What I sense is missing or coming up short in my life.
I’m not depressed at all. Rather quite hopeful and encouraged!
These thoughts have been spurred on by a few passages of the bible that have come up in some of my readings or small group discussions.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 (NIV).
Lord, I have heard the news about you; I am amazed at what you have done. Lord, do great things once again in our time; make those things happen again in our own days. Habakkuk 3:2 (NCV)
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:28-29 (NIV)
Each of these passages have burrowed deep into my heart to create this longing.
As pastors, church leaders, and workers in our churches (paid or not) we are part of a powerful experience, opportunity and responsibility to be part of presenting “everyone fully mature in Christ”! I know life can be busy and overwhelming. I know that we can lose some of the wonder and joy and passion for what we do in ministry and see it as another obligation or task. And at seasons in my life it has been reduced to that.
I want the awe! I want the amazement!
I don’t long for some 1st century re-creation of the church. It can never be exactly like that. I’m not expecting signs and wonders. I’ll take them, sure. I don’t envision a series of revival meetings with ecstatic behavior either.
What I see, what I hunger for is a revival of community. The principals of the Acts community can be developed. And there is no greater miracle to be seen than “Christ formed in us”. I want to see the Lord adding to our numbers daily.
I want these things for my generation! My time!
I want to see a church strenuously contending with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in us! I’m seeing signs of that in my particular local church right now, but my hope is for the Church, not just my church.
I don’t want to dismiss what I know He is already doing now, or imply we are not “strenuously contending” now. I see the power of God at work all the time and am moved to praise and gratefulness.
I just have this sense there is something…more.
I want to encourage us today to make space in our hearts for the wonder to grow – the wonder that God would use each of us to transform lives.
Let’s not get caught up in the distractions of politics…God is bigger than America!
Let’s stop whining about the marginalization of the church in America and be the church America…and the world needs. Our authority is not given to us by congress or the zeitgeist of culture, but by Christ!
Let’s not try to impose our faith on culture, but compel our culture to adopt our God through the irresistible grace He offers!
Let’s devote ourselves to the teaching and the fellowship and the prayer. Let’s fill our worship centers with praise and celebration and let’s fill our homes with each other – admonishing and teaching and encouraging and proclaiming.