“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1.8
Many have sensed movement in our congregation these past few months. The movement I’m describing is not necessarily anything we can see or touch but we can definitely feel it. I’m reminded of John 3 when Jesus says, “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” The winds of the Spirit are moving us.
If you have been in church over the past two months you have heard the consistent drumbeat of 1 Peter calling us to live lives of witness. As we have heard, the way that we treat each other within the community of faith is central to our witness. This is something that has too often been neglected within the American Church. Somewhere we slipped into the belief that having the right doctrine excused any sort of behavior.
This is where the movement comes in. The movement several folks and I feel is in the lightness and joy surrounding our community. I have been hearing and seeing more laughter and joy on Sundays. As I mentioned previously, believing the right doctrine does not solve our problems. The “way” we are together is as important as the specifics of our belief. As a wise mentor of mine explains it, saying that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life has big implications.
John 14.6 starts with Jesus as the Way. We are called to follow in the Way of Christ first and foremost. This is fundamentally what discipleship is all about. We are disciplining ourselves toward Christlikeness. If we are in the Way of Christ, we are walking the path Christ laid out in Scripture. Once we are firmly rooted in the Way of Christ and have walked that Way for a time, the Truth begins to become clear. Attempting to believe the Truth without already living in the Way distorts the Truth and leads us to damaging actions. Finally, as we walk in the Way, which provide deep insight to the Truth, the Life becomes possible. This is what it is all about. This Life is the Life eternal and the Life right now.
For many of us, the Way of discipleship is becoming more clear. Ironically, we are growing by reverting. We are reverting and learning again, or anew, what childlike faith looks like. As a foster parent, it is abundantly clear there are many poor parents out there. Many of us had parents who could not provide the environment to learn trust, faith, and hope. It isn’t their fault; they didn’t have parents who could do it either. Here we see the damaging effects of generational sin. It washes over each new generation like never-ending storm waves in Lake Superior. This is why I find great hope in the Holy Spirit movement so many of us are seeing within our congregation. Christ is ending the storm waves. As we grow in health through discipleship, we can invite others into that same process.
The Christian way provides the most beautiful life possible. As we continue to more fully experience that life, we become evangelists, proclaimers of good news, to the world. Our passion for Christ seeps from our very pores! It is then that we are the most powerful witnesses possible. May that be so!