Thursday, May 1, 2014

A meeting at the Church

This has turned out to be a very interesting moment in my life.  I am about to have my prayers be answered, in our church, in front of people that I have come to love and appreciate.

I just received an e-mail from our Pastor reminding us of a meeting that we will hare before the church session tomorrow, May 4, 2014.  We have been studying books related to the Christian faith and now, he would like us to express ourselves on our path of study for the future.  Amazing.  I have been praying to know a church with the courage to make such a request.  In my 80+ years of attending church, I have never heard of one that dared to ask the congregation about their desires.  I have always assumed that the sermons were based on the materials suggested by the headquarters of the faith, assuming that they knew about the best interests of all who are involved.

What a refreshing opportunity we have and I am praying that everyone will come with the same sense of fascination as to the possibilities for our future.

And the reason I posted the date is because it was precisely 39 years ago - on May 12, 1975, I chose to leave the "church" life to follow in the footsteps of the One I have come to know as my Lord and Savior.  Savior in the sense that He would have me become what I should have been, that is - His disciple, rather than the fool I had been; saved not because of the fear of a Hell to come, but for the sake of loving others as I believe that is His intent for all of us.  It has been quite an experience.  I have learned a lot

I hope to express my immediate goal, personally, and let the future dictate the rest.

At my age, I want to learn how to love more and be able to express it in many directions.  It is easy to love my brothers and sisters that will be assembled on Sunday, but I need to learn how to demonstrate that love in areas in which it appears to have become, a lost art.

I also want to learn how to ask more, of myself and others.  It is good to know where to find the appropriates verses in the Bible, but the problem always seems to be to get past the preconceived notions of others, even those who say that they share my faith.

I want to see my church extend their reach to others they do not know.  We excel in the areas where others seem to ignore opportunities, but to reach up and out and down, wherever it appears that any need exists.

More than anything I want us to share our prayer life.  I have often wondered what might happen if the church prayed in unison.  Recently, I learned that the churches in our area had increased a hundred fold in the past fifty years and I wondered, were they praying about the needs of others?  Anyone who has ever served a church, officially, knows that it costs money to maintain the properties and that adds to my wonderment.  How does the increase to just maintain additional facilities serve the kingdom of God?  Over the years we seem to have learned that big buildings with steeples, apparently reaching out to touch the hem of His garments, are not the way, but expending the reach of the church into the neighborhoods where the people live and move and have their being are more economical 

I moved from the prayer life of the church to the need for space on purpose.  I have known people who apparently prayed ministries into being.  An old friend of mine was heard to have prayed for a university and a hospital, and they appeared to be - for a season.  The real power of the church appears when the congregation learns to pray in unison.  If they pray for others, locally, regionally, nationally - or world wide, God appears to respond.  Some want to pray for things, but my years have taught me as I am thankful for what I have and as I pray for others, good things always seemed to happen.  If it works for the least among us, it surely will work to meet the needs of others.

So, as our meeting is assembled this Sunday, I will pray for our vision to reach beyond our walls and I do not necessarily mean our physical walls.  We all have them and like those at Jericho, I happen to think that we need to act with the same sense of concentration that brought down those walls. 

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