I am deeply gratified to discover some 50 people from our community committing to praying and fasting at this time. We are praying for denominational discernment and personal renewal/revival. Denominational discernment might also include community healing. I am finding there are good people who are struggling with both sides of the denominational issue, and that creates hard feelings within the community. That’s the last thing I want! Yet, I can’t help but think God will reach out in response to our prayers and fasting with answers and solutions that will bring healing and renewal/revival to our community!
I’m finding a theme in my Lenten reading this year – the active ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. From the daily Biola Lent readings, http://ccca.biola.edu/lent/ to a book I am re-reading by A.W. Tozer, https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-God-W-Tozer/dp/153689785X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1489002911&sr=8-3&keywords=aw+tozer (available for Kindle for only 99 cents!) and my ongoing work with Ignatian spirituality, it seems God is encouraging me to encourage others to seek God and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in ways that have been available to the Church from the beginning. Everywhere I turn, I am reading about the anemic church, filled with “casual Christians,” while God longs to fill our lives abundantly with the Holy Spirit!
As “brokers of reconciliation,” we are called to be “Christ’s presence” wherever we go, and especially as we, the Church, gather to worship. We worship for what we can give, not get. We get to be the hands, the feet, the ears and sometimes even the voice of Jesus. Looking for Jesus every day while desiring that people see Jesus in us, is part of what it means to be the Church, to be followers, apprentices, disciples of Jesus. We are living in such definitional time, and the witness of the Church has never been more important.
As we continue through the Lent season, as we continue praying and fasting for discernment, healing, renewal/revival, let us proceed expectantly, trusting that God longs for us to reach out and experience God’s presence in our lives with greater intimacy day by day!
Grace and peace,