Friday, July 31, 2009
Reading and preaching from Acts this summer has given me a new sense of hope. In the past I have often found myself filled more with a kind of wishful longing when I read about the signs and wonders which took place in the early church. I have so often found myself praying, "Lord, do it again. Come, Holy Spirit." And while there has still been some of this in my heart, I have also been made aware of the way the reading of it has given me eyes to see what God is doing in the church of which I am a part. Instead of despairing at the discrepancies between now and then, I have been blessed with a spirit of hope for the church.
To be truthful, the hope has little to do with what I am doing, but more with what I am seeing taking place in the lives of people whose paths are intersecting with mine. I have run into some individuals with a real passion for sharing faith. I have encountered others who are taking great delight in reading and immersing themselves in the Word. I have experienced what seems to be a real sense of enthusiasm and expectancy in worship. There have been so many opportunities to pray with folks in need around the altar. As I look across the congregation on any given Sunday, I see new people whom the Lord is entrusting to the care of the church here and so many of them have such an eagerness to serve Him here.
So, hopeful is the word. I wonder, too, if it may not be true that these have not always been with us. I wonder if being gripped so by the Word in the book of Acts has not given me eyes to see what God has been doing and continues to do. Maybe I have been missing something. What I do know is what I am seeing now. I am seeing God doing some surprising things in the lives of some people and it has not only made me grateful, but filled with hope as well.