Waiting is not an easy task for me. I’ve been known to drive miles out of the way to avoid being delayed by a…
What will we be sharing from our Methodist/Wesleyan “waka” (canoe) in whatever region of the world we minister? What treasures and gifts will we share?
The Gospel stirs things up…
The apostles don’t see themselves as CEOs or slaves to the church. They see themselves as fulfilling a specific duty for the church: the ministry of the word of God and prayer. Everything else was dropped from their plate. And not only did the church not look down on them or call them lazy for a desire to emphasize these two tasks alone, but this suggestion “pleased the whole community.”
But it would seem that one of the Holy Spirit’s favorite ways to work is by doing remarkable things through shared humility. And by birthing unity through Spirit-infused shared humility.
But you need both. A Paul and a Peter. Someone who will confront and another who will comfort. It takes that balance of truth and grace to get someone to move beyond their epic fail and into effective service.
What more is Ash Wednesday than this? To bow the head, receive the ash, and be led by the hand to a time of fasting and prayer? What more is Lent than putting to death the inner persecutor and praying determinedly for the outer one?
This is the power of resurrection. Isaiah says, “see, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
This is the heart of God for his people. Jesus wants to make a river run through the wasteland of your life, because when the Spirit flows people get raised and get filled and get healed and get sober and their wastelands get soaked. A new thing!
We’ve seen a spiritual resurrection in Paul and a “fresh start” resurrection in Aeneas and now we’re about to see the full power of God come to rest over death…In Acts 9:37-38 we read, “about that time Tabitha became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. When the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, ‘Please come at once!’…
We ought to sing it more! Sing it, indeed, until we re-discover the power of this Name. Sing it until, as Charles Wesley urged, “Happy, if with my latest breath/ I may but gasp his name, / preach him to all and cry in death, / ‘Behold, behold the Lamb!’”
Why did they leave him at the gate? Why not take him all the way in? Did they not understand that he had spiritual needs as well?